Skip to main content

Full text of "History of Wallingford, Conn., from its settlement in 1670 to the present time, including Meriden, which was one of its parishes until 1806, and Chesire, which was incorporated in 1780"

See other formats












' II:l|'ly thine eye Its ardent srhm.'e li:ul e;ist 

Throogb tin- dun shades, the portals of the past; 

By the bright laiii[i of thontrht thy care had fed 

From the far beacon lights <if a^i-s "' '' 

Tin- depths of time explorillL' to retrace 

The t'lorioiis march' of many a vanquished nice." 





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
District of Connecticut. 

















XIV. REVIVALS . . .298 
XV. SCHOOLS . . 308 

XVI. WYOMING . . 319 














XXVII. CHESHIRE . . . 440 











CAT HOLE PASS . . . .94 



THIRD CHURCH . . . 120 

MERIDEN IN 1830 .... 152 


REV. JAMES DANA, D. D. . . . 204 

MAP OF MERIDEN IN 1830 . . 230 



REV. REUBEN IVES . . . 256 


WALLINGFORD IN 1830 . . . 295 

CHESHIRE IN 1830 . . . 443 



B. F. HARRISON, M. D. . . 462 

NKHKMIAH BANKS, M. D. . . 464 

H. A. ARCHER, M. D. . . . 468 

























ELI IVES .... 





4 86 



5 6 4 

60 1 


















JOHX PARKER .... 318 



ISAAC C. LEWIS . . . .401 

DEXTER R. WRIGHT . . . 434 

AMBROSE IVES .... 454 


J. WILCOX & Co.'s MANUFACTORY . . . 484 



WALTER BOOTH . . . 547 

DR. BENJ. H. CATLIN . . . 556 

WILLIAM YALE . . . 587 

" It is the privilege of History to impart the experience of age, without 
its infirmities ; to bring back things long obscured by time, or sinking into 
oblivion ; and enable us to form some reasonable conjecture of what may 
happen to posterity." 

POULSON'S Hist, of Holderness. 

" Our Ancestors wrought in a magnanimous spirit of rivalry with Na- 
ture, or in kindly fellowship with her When they planted, 

they chose out her trees of longest life, the Oak, the Chestnut, the Yew, 
the Elm, trees which it does us good to behold, while we muse on the 
many generations of our Forefathers whose eyes have reposed within the 
same leafy bays." 

HARE'S Guesses at Truth. 

" Go little booke, God send thee good passage, 
And especially let this be thy prayere, 
Unto them all that thee will read or hear, 
Where thou art wrong, after their help to call, 
Thee to correct in any part or all." 

CHAUCER'S Belle Dame sans Mercie. 



I HAVE written a History of the town of Wallingford, 
covering a period of two hundred years. I have offered 
no brilliant word painting. I have described no battle 
scenes or heroes ; no political intrigues or crimes of 
kings. But I have endeavored faithfully to portray the 
lives and actions of our Puritan ancestors. They came 
to find an asylum for religious liberty, the very religious 
liberty for which they had been contending at home, and 
for which they had become accustomed to suffer priva- 
tions across the channel. They found few helps and 
many hindrances to their growth and prosperity in a 
foreign land and under foreign rule, and they therefore 
undertook to rear a church and found a colony at the 
same time in the wilderness, whose vital principle should 
be the religious ideas for whose sake they had resigned 
the honors and braved the power of the English crown. 
Their notions of civil government were not clearly de- 
fined, and of the civil institution which their effort was 

to build, they took little thought and indulged little 


anxiety. They only aimed at a pure religion and an 
independent church. This was their hope by day, their 
dream by night, and the goal of their continual prayer 
and effort. 

Dr. Johnson said that " he who describes what he 
never saw, draws from fancy." History should rather 
be truth in its simplicity. As Horace says, " He hath 
gained every point, who hath mixed the useful with the 
agreeable, by delighting and equally improving the 
reader." 1 

The design of Local History is to preserve the 
memory of local events and enterprise ; to record the 
manners and customs, the character and services, the 
sacrifices, the toils and the sufferings of our fathers ; to 
glean from old records and family traditions, material 
which has been passed over by the historians of the 
State and country. Until within a comparatively brief 
period, but little attention has been given to the prepa- 
ration of local histories, or to the preservation of the 
materials of which they must be composed. Probably 
not more than one-half of the towns of New England 
have any well-authenticated history of their early 
settlement. A few scattering documents, brief and 
unsatisfactory letters, and family traditions colored and 
enlarged as such statements are apt to be, embrace all 
that can be obtained. A writer has said, that an octavo 
pamphlet of ten pages, containing well-authenticated 
facts concerning the year, month, and day in which the 
first man pitched his tent on the ground where the city 
of London now stands, his name, his origin, whence he 

I Omne tulit puncum qui miscuit utile dulci, 

Lectorem delectando pariterque monendo. De Art. Poet., 



came, the circumstances in which he came, the object of 
his coming, and, withal, a minute description of the 
place as it then was such a pamphlet would be worth 
millions sterling to the author or proprietor. How 
unhappy is the reflection that the early settlements of 
our towns should be permitted to be forever lost through 
the apathy or indifference of their inhabitants. 

Upwards of two hundred years ago, Thomas Fuller, 
D. D., of whom Coleridge said that he was " incompar- 
ably the most sensible and least prejudiced great man of 
an age that boasted of a galaxy of great men," wrote as 
follows : 

" History is a velvet study, and recreation work. What a 
pitie it is to see a proper gentleman to have such a crick in 
his neck that he cannot look backward ! Yet no better is he 
who cannot see behind him the actions which long since were 
performed. History maketh a young man to be old, without 
either wrinkles or grey hairs; priviledging him with the 
experience of age, without either the infirmities or incon- 
veniences thereof. Yea, it not only maketh things past, pres- 
ent; but enableth one to make a rationall conjecture of things 
to come." 

No one of the present nations of Europe can tell us a 
word of their earliest ancestors ; the oldest annals of 
Rome were compiled more than a century and a half 
after the records were destroyed by the Gauls, and more 
than three hundred and sixty years after the date ordi- 
narily assigned for the foundation of the city. It is 
sufficient to read Thucydides' introduction to his history 
of the Peloponnesian war to perceive how little correct 
information could be obtained by that diligent inquirer 
into the antiquities of his country. But it is far differ- 
ent with our early history as a nation. We owe a 


lasting debt of gratitude to our ancestors for their 
fidelity in recording the incipient steps taken by them 
in settling this new world ; but their descendants soon 
began to relax their fidelity in this respect. Men were 
so much occupied with the business of the present hour, 
that they were forgetful of the past and careless of the 
future. They possessed neither the ability nor incli- 
nation to contemplate their public transactions in the 
impartial light of history, far less to treasure and to 
record them ; they were a people humble in their begin- 
nings, unambitious in their aims ; "content with the 
moral grandeur that alone attends the discharge of their 
duty, and in silent unconsciousness building up a politi- 
cal structure more sublime in its beauty than the towered 
palaces of kings." 

I know how difficult it will be to make a local history 
interesting if I confine myself merely to transcripts from 
old records and dry details. The historian is not obliged 
to look abroad like the poet for illustrations ; his images 
are ready ; his field of combat is inclosed. He wants 
only so much vivacity as will supply color and life to the 
description. Tacitus informs us that songs were the 
only memorials of the past which the ancient Germans 
possessed. We know that the early history of England 
is a mass of fiction and fable ; but owing to the modern 
severity of historical research, legends of beauty contin- 
ually disappear, and the rents in history become plainer 
as the ivy is torn away. In the exquisite image of Lan- 
dor, it is like breaking off a crystal from the vault of a 
twilight cavern, out of mere curiosity to see where the ac- 
cretion ends and where the rock begins. If, in writing 
this work, I can turn the attention of the descendants of 
the Connecticut emigrants from the present to the glo- 


rious past if I can instil into their minds a love for the 
noble men who left the luxuries of the old world for a life 
of privation and dangers in a wild and unknown country, 
I shall consider myself well repaid. 

In 1858 I commenced gathering materials for this 
work, by looking over old files of deeds and papers, 
searching family, church, town and probate records, the 
State archives, and interviewing the oldest inhabitants, 
until I had accumulated a large quantity of interesting 
information of a local nature. In 1867 I returned to 
Meriden after an absence of seven years ; and the time 
that could be devoted from my other duties was given 
to the collecting of genealogical records, and the com- 
pletion of the history. While thus engaged in 1869, I 
received a letter from Mr. ELIHU YALE of New Haven, 
in which he informed me that he had been engaged 
for nearly fifteen years in compiling genealogies of the 
Wallingford families. We met and compared notes, 
and the result was, that I placed my genealogical 
records in his hands for completion. To these records I 
have made a few alterations and additions, bringing a 
few families down to the present generation, and add- 
ing notes, principally from Durrie, showing where fur- 
ther information can be obtained of each family. 

It is not possible that a work of this description, con- 
taining such a mass of facts and abounding in names 
and dates, should be free from error. A writer has said 
that when the mind is attentively employed in such 
researches as tend to illustrate any obscure passages in 
history or antiquity, every hint, every ray of light that 
illustrates the subject, gives high satisfaction to the stu- 
dent, and tends to the great entertainment of the 


readers of his work. 1 I am also indebted to Mr. 
YALE, for much valuable information, especially in the 
biographical notices. 

I would here return thanks to all who have assisted 
me in my researches, and who have taken an interest in 
the work. I am under great obligations to the libra- 
rians of the New England Historical and Genealogical 
Society, New York Historical Society, Yale College, and 
Massachusetts and Connecticut State libraries, for favors 

" I have together gathered and commanded to be 
written many of those things that our forefathers held." 2 
But " I know that the Argument .... required the pen of 
some excellent Artizan ; but fearing that none would 
attempt and finish it .... I chose rather (among other my 
labors), to handle it after my plain fashion, than to 
leave it unperformed." John Stowe, 1598. 



1 Remains of Japhet, p. 184, London, 1767. 

2 Ic thaes togasderee gegoderrd and awritan het manega thaera the ura 
foregengan heoldon. Pref. Leg. 



THE present ownership or title to the lands in Walling- 
ford and Meriden is derived, I. From purchase of the 
Indians. 2. From the patent of Connecticut under the 
great seal of England. 3. From the grants made by 
the Colonial Legislature to individuals, which those 
individuals had power to convey by deed. 4. From the 
patent of Wallingford under the seal of the Colony, 
which gave power to the proprietors of Wallingford to 
make allotments of land to individuals, who had power 
to convey these lands thus allotted by deed. 

When Davenport and his company arrived at New Ha- 
ven, they found the territory in possession of the Indians, 
the original owners of the soil. Within the limits of Con- 
necticut, as its boundaries are now fixed, were probably 
from twelve to fifteen thousand Indians, 1 broken into 
many clans or tribes, speaking different dialects, that 
had a common basis, so that the individuals belong- 
ing to one tribe could understand the words spoken by 
another. In no part of New England were the Indians 
so numerous as in Connecticut. The great quantities 

I Deforest, in his " History of the Connecticut Indians," estimates the 
number at from six to seven thousand only, while other historians place 
the number as high as twenty thousand. 


of fish and fowl which the country and its waters af- 
forded, were well adapted to their convenience and mode 
of living. Neither wars nor diseases had so depopu- 
lated this, as they had some other parts of New England. 
Those who lived on either bank of the Connecticut, and 
were hence called river Indians, were nearly all within 
the old limits of Windsor, Hartford, Wethersfield, and 
Middletown. There were ten sovereignties of them in 
Windsor alone, who could muster, it was said, an aggre- 
gate of two thousand bowman. Hartford swarmed with 
them. The Mattabesitt tribe, then living in and about 
the present city of Middletown, claimed the land which 
they afterwards sold to Davenport and his company. At 
the time of the settlement of New Haven, Sowheag was 
the great sachem of the Mattabesitt tribe. He had a 
fort at Middletown, on the high ground near the " nar- 
rows," by the river, and his power extended over Middle- 
town, Wallingford and Meriden, and small portions of 
towns adjoining thereto. 

That part of the State now occupied by the counties 
of New London and Windham, with a large part of 
Tolland county, was occupied by the Pequots and Mohe- 
gans, an exceedingly fierce, warlike and crafty race. 1 
But the power of the Pequots was felt beyond these 

i On the west of the Connecticut river and extending towards the Hud- 
son, resided the Mohegans. (Bancroft, III. 239). Mohegan is a word, the 
meaning of which is not explained by the early writers ; but if we may 
trust the deductions of philology, it needs create little uncertainty. The 
tribe called themselves Muhhekanien ; and signified a wolf of super- 
natural power. This was the badge or arms of the tribe, rather than the 
name of the tribe itself. The affinities of the Mohegans with the Minci, 
or Moncees, on the west bank of the Hudson, and through them with the 
Delawares, are apparent in the language, and were well recognized at the 
era of the settlement. 


bounds. Other tribes had been overrun by their wai 
parties, a tribute imposed, and a paramount dominion 
established. Prince, in his introduction to Mason's 
Pequot War, says that this tribe extended westward to 
Connecticut River, and over it as far as Brandford, if 
not to Quinnipiack (New Haven). Gookin 1 states that 
the sachem of the Pequots held dominion over a part of 
Long Island ; over the Mohegans and the Quinnipiacks ; 
" yea, over all the people that dwelt upon Connecticut 
River, and over some of the most southerly inhabitants 
of the Nipmuck country." 

Sassacus, the head sachem of the Pequots, was the most 
intractable and proud of all the New England Indians. 
He is described as having excelled all the other men of 
his tribe in courage and address as a warrior, as much as 
that tribe surpassed all the neighboring ones in its haugh- 
ty claims to dominion. Sassacus had twenty-six sachems 
under him, when the English settlers first came to the 
Connecticut river. Far and wide extended the hunting- 
fields, the deer-tracks, and the war-paths of this tribe ; 
and all other tribes lived in constant terror of them. 
If they neglected to pay their tribute, the Pequots 
would descend upon them, plunder, destroy and carry 
them captive at pleasure. When they were not molested 
by the Pequots, the Mohawks, who had extended their 
conquests as far east as the Connecticut river,, would 
issue their orders, and collect their tribute. When they 
made their appearance in the country, the Connecticut 
Indians would instantly raise a cry from hill to hill, "A 
Mohawk ! A Mohawk !" and fly like sheep before wolves, 
without attempting the least resistance. It is indeed 

I Historical Collections of the Indians. 1674. 


difficult to describe the fear of these terrible nations, 
which had fallen on all the Indians in the western parts 
of Connecticut. On this account they welcomed the 
arrival of the English among them, little dreaming that 
a few farmers who busied themselves with tasks fit, in 
their estimation, only for women, would soon get pos- 
session of the choicest lands that had been transmitted 
through a long line of Indian kings, and, finally, rising 
up as one man, would sweep whole tribes from the earth, 
and blot out their proudest names from remembrance. 
And yet, so desirous were they of English settlements 
on their territory, that before the first settlement was 
made in the State, a deputation of Indians appeared in 
Massachusetts requesting the people of that State to 
send a colony and form a plantation among them in 

In the first deed between Davenport, Eaton and 
others, and the Indians, in 1638, it is expressly stated 
as a reason why they gave the deed and wished pur- 
chasers to settle among them, 

"Remembering the heavy taxes and imminent dangers lately 
felt and feared from the Pequots, Mohawks and other Indians, 
in regard of which they durst not stay in their country, but 
were forced to flee and seek shelter among the English ; and 
observing the safety and ease that the other Indians enjoy, 
near the English, of which benefits they have a comfortable 
taste already, which with all thankfulness they now acknowl- 
edge, they grant," &c., &c. 

In this part of the country then, the original settlers 
were not intruders. It is true that the price or consider- 
ation paid for these lands was inconsiderable, when 
viewed from our stand-point. The policy adopted by 
our fathers in respect to the Indians was characterized 


by justice and by kindness. The right of the Indians 
to the soil was admitted and respected. Patents and 
charters from the King were never considered good 
against the rights of the natives. It appears from the 
documents which I have examined, that the lands in 
many instances were bought and paid for several times 
over. If, after any particular tract had been purchased, 
some sachem or tribe appeared with a claim to the same 
land, that title also was bought out, and if again other 
claimants appeared, the purchase was still made again. 
Part of Meriden was thus bought again and again. And 
in 1670, thirty-four years after Hartford had been bought 
of the Indians, and had become populous, there arising 
some dispute about the title, the lands in Hartford were 
bought over again. Let any man demonstrate if he can, 
that in Connecticut a single rood of land was ever ac- 
quired of the Indians otherwise than by fair purchase, 
except what was conquered from the Pequots, in a war 
as righteous as ever was waged. 

The most ancient record in existence at New Haven 
is the record of two treaties with the aboriginal proprie- 
tors, by which the soil was purchased, and the relations 
thenceforward to subsist between the Indians and the 
English were distinctly denned. In 1638, the original 
settlers of New Haven bought of "Momauguin, the Indian 
Sachem of Quinopiocke, and Sugcogisin, Quesaquauch, 
Caroughood, Wesaucucke, and others of his council," 
the tract of land on which New Haven now stands, ex- 
tending several miles to the northward, and embracing 
probably North Haven, also. The articles of agreement 
are to this effect : That Momauguin is the sole sachem of 
Quinnipiack, and had an absolute power to aliene and 
dispose of the same : That in consequence of the pro- 


tection which he had tasted, by the English, from the 
Pequots and Mohawks, 1 he yielded up all -his right, title 
and interest to all the land, rivers, ponds and trees, with 
all the liberties and appurtenances belonging to the 
same, unto Theophilus Eaton, John Davenport and 
others, their heirs and assigns forever. He covenanted 
that neither he nor his Indians would teirify nor disturb 
the English, nor injure them in any of their interests ; 
but that, in every respect, they would keep true faith 
with them. The English covenanted to protect Momau- 
guin and his Indians when unreasonably assaulted 
and terrified by other Indians ; and that they should al- 
ways have a sufficient quantity of land to plant on, 
upon the east side of the harbor, between that and Say- 
brook fort. They also covenanted, that by way of free 
and thankful retribution, they gave unto the said sachem 
and his council and company twelve coats of English 
cloth, twelve alchymy spoons, twelve hatchets, twelve 
hoes, two dozen of knives, twelve porringers, and four 
cases of French knives and scissors. What the Indians 
retained after the treaty, was worth more to them than 
what they had before the treaty. The consideration 
which chiefly moved them to the cession was not the 
coats, the knives, and the hatchets, the pewter spoons 
and porringers, but the safety and manifold advantages 
of having the English for their neighbors and protectors. 
In December following, the settlers made another 
purchase of a large tract, which lay principally north of 

I The Indians of Quinnipiack, in this treaty, declared, "That they still 
remembered the heavy taxes of the Pequots and Mohawks ; as that, by 
reason of their fear of them, they could not stay in their own country ; but 
had been obliged to flee. By these powerful enemies they had been 
reduced to about forty men." 


the former. This was bought of Mantowese, son of the 
great sachem at Mattabesitt. 1 This tract was ten miles 
in length, north and south, and thirteen miles in breadth. 
It extended eight miles east of the river Quinnipiac, 
and five miles west of it towards Hudson river. It in- 
cluded all the lands within the ancient limits of the old 
towns of New Haven, Branford and Wallingford, and 
almost the whole contained 'in the present limits of these 
towns, and of the towns of East Haven, Woodbridge, 
Cheshire, Hamden and North Haven. These have since 
been made out of the three old towns. 

" Articles of agreement betwixt Theophilus Eaton, John 
Davenport, and sundry other English planters at Quinnypiock 
on the one part, and Mantowese, son of an Indian sachem 
living at Mattabezeck, and nephew to Sequin, on the other 
part, made and concluded the nth day of December, 1638. 

" First, the said Mantowese, in presence and with allowance 
of Sawseunck, and Indians which came in company with him, 
doth profess, affirm and covenant to and with the said Theo- 
philus Eaton, John Davenport, and others, above, that the 
land on both sides the river Quinnypiock, from the northerly 
bounds of the land lately purchased by the said English of the 
Quinnypiock Indians, namely, from the pond in the great 
meadow, about two miles above the great hill, to the head of 
the river at the great plain toward the plantations settled by 
the English upon the river of Quinticutt, southerly, which is 
about ten miles .in length from north to south ; the bounds of 
which land run also eight miles easterly from the river of 
Quinnypiock towards the river of Quinticutt, and five miles 
westerly towards Hudson's river, doth truly and solely 
belong to him the said Mantowese, in right of his deceased 
mother, to whom the said land did appertain, and from whom 

i The mother of Mantowese must have been the daughter and heiress 
of some deceased sachem, for it was through her that the land was obtained. 


it justly descends upon him as his inheritance, so that he hath 
an absolute and independent power to give, alien, dispose, or 
sell all, or any part of the said land as he shall think good ; 
and that neither his said father, nor any other person what- 
soever, have any right, title, or interest in any part of the 
land described and limited as above, whereby he or any other 
may hereafter justly question what the said Mantowese now 
doth, or lay any claim to any part of the said land now 
disposed of by him. 

" Secondly, the said Mantowese being fully acquainted with 
the agreements lately passed betwixt the said English planters 
and the Sachem of Quinnypiock, his council and company, 
did freely of his own accord, upon full and serious deliber- 
ation, give, grant, and yield up, all his right, title, and interest 
to all the land mentioned and bounded as above, with all the 
rivers, ponds, trees, and all liberties and appurtenances what- 
soever, belonging to the same, to the said Theophilus Eaton, 
John Davenport, and other English planters, at Quinnypiock, 
and to their heirs and assigns forever, desiring from them, the 
said English planters, to receive such a small portion of land 
by the river's side, about two miles beyond the tree over the 
river in the passage from hence towards the towns at Quin- 
ticutt, as may be sufficient for his small company, being 
but ten men in number, besides women and children, which 
portion of land they desire may, hereafter, upon a view, be 
assigned, appointed and limited unto them by the said 
English planters, reserving also to himself and his forenamed 
company, liberty, in fit seasons and due manner, without 
prejudice to the English, to hunt and fish and kill beaver, 
yet therein also to be regulated by the said English, upon 
discovery of any annoyance, as the Quinnypiock Indians are 
in that case. 

" Lastly, the said Theophilus Eaton, John Davenport, &c., 
accepting from Mantowese this free gift of his land as above, 
do by way of thankful retribution give unto him eleven coats 
made of trucking cloth, and one coat for himself of English 


cloth, made up after the English manner, which being 
thankfully accepted by the said Mantowese, and the agree- 
ment in all points perfected ; for satisfaction and full con- 
firmation of the same, Mantowese and Sawseunck have 
set their hands or marks, this day and year before written. 

" MANTOWESE, X n ' s mark- 
SAWSEUNCK, X ms mark." 

" I, John Clarke, being interpreter in this treaty, do hereby 
profess in the presence of God, that I have fully acquainted 
the Indians with the substance of every article, to the which 
they have freely agreed ; that is to say, that Mantowese have 
given to Mr. Davenport and Mr. Eaton all his land which he 
had by his deceased mother, which he saith is from the head 
of the great plain to the pond, which he profess to be his, and 
promise to make it good to our English ; and for this he is 
satisfied with twelve coats ; only reserve a piece of land by 
the river for his men, which are ten, and many squaws, to 
plant in ; and when our cows come there, what harm their 
dogs do our cattle, they will satisfy for, and we for what harm 
our hogs do to them in corn ; and as for hunting and fishing, 
they are acquainted and do freely consent to them, as their 
mark witness. The truth of which, if lawfully called, I shall 
readily confirm by my oath at any time. 

" Per me, JOHN CLARKE.' 

" We, Robert Coggswell, Roger Knapp, and James Love, 
do hereby renounce all right to any and every part of the 
forementioned land. Witness our hands hereunto. 



ROGER KNAPP, X ms mark." 

i This interpreter seems to have been one of the first inhabitants 
of the colony. The interpreter of the first treaty, was Thomas Stanton, 
who was for many years a sort of chief dragoman in all important nego- 
tiations with the Indians. 


That these treaties were ever violated by either party 
does not appear in history, although Governor Andros 
had said that the " signature of an Indian was no better 
than the scratch of a bear's paw." Upon the tract 
ceded by these treaties, where in 1638 there were sub- 
sisting in savage wretchedness not quite sixty men, and 
the largest estimate of women and children would not 
make the entire native population more than two hun- 
dred and fifty, there are now about 30,00x3 people, the 
poorest of which have more physical comforts, not to 
speak of intellectual and moral differences, than the 
richest of the Indians enjoyed in 1638. To one who 
now stands upon the summit of West Peak and looks off 
upon the immense plain, like a green carpet stretching 
far off to the Sound, dotted here and there with villages, 
and the quiet farm houses, 

" So rich and picturesque and free, 
The common unrhymed poetry 
Of simple life and country ways," 

it seems scarcely credible that the consideration of this 
deed was "eleven coats made of trucking cloth, and one 
coat of English cloth, made up after the English man- 
ner," with the reservation of the right to plant and hunt 
upon the granted premises. But the price was an 
adequate one. What could the grantors do with money ? 


and the liberty to occupy the land for the two purposes 
named in the deed, comprised in the mind of an Indian, 
nearly all that lawyers mean by the term fee simple. 
The north half of Meriden, was claimed by portions of 
the Mattabesitt tribe ; and when Farmington was settled 
by the English, there was a band of that tribe, in the 
southeast part of that town, probably near Kensington. 


The north part of our town remained in possession of 
the Indians, long after they had sold all the adjacent 
territory. Near the northern limit lay the Belcher farm. 
Rev. Mr. Perkins, in his " Historical Sketches," says, that 

"One Mr. Belcher, very early, but how early we cannot pre- 
cisely ascertain, had a grant of a large tract of land lying on 
our present northern border. Whether this was a colonial 
grant or a royal grant, we do not know, for no trace of deed 
or grant can be found in the state records or town records." 

Hoping to find such a record, 

" Through difficulties 

And with much pains, expence of time and cost, 
Many heapes of worne Records have I turn'd and tos't," 

and success crowned my efforts. Here is the deed : 

" Att a Gen a " Assembly holden at Newhaven October the 
i4th, 1703 ; Whereas, the Govern'" and Company of this her 
Majesties Colonie of Connecticut in Gen a " Court assem- 
bled at Hartford, Aug. the 28th 1661, did give and grant 
unto Jonathan Gilbert of the said town of Hartford, innholder, 
dec' 1 , three hundred and fifty acres of countrey land fora 
farm, and whereas, the said Gen a " Assembly holden at 
Hartford March the r3th, i66j, and Octob'r the i2th, 1665, 
did give and grant to Capt. Daniel Clerke of the town of 
Wind/or three hundred acres of land for the same use, to In- 
taken up partly upon the branches of Mattabesitt River, and 
partly upon the road from Wethersfield to Newhaven, at or 
near a place called Cold Spring on the west side of a ridge, 
of mountainous land comonly called or known by the name of 
the Lamentation Hills, all which appeares on record; and the 
said Jonathan Gilbert did purchase of the said Daniel Clerke 
his said grant, by which grant and purchase the said Jonath. 
Gilbert obteined to himself and his heirs a good and lawfull 
right and title to sixe hundred and tiftie acres of the said 
countrey land, four hundred and seventie acres whereof was 


laid out to the said Jonathan Gilbert by persons appointed by 
the said Gen a " Assembly at and nere the said place called 
the Cold Spring on the west side of the said Lamentation 
Hill ; the said four hundred and seventie acres of land com- 
prehending within it three pieces of meadowe, one called the 
south meadow, another the north meadow, and the third 
beaver meadow ; and the said Jonathan Gilbert having pur- 
chased the native right of the said land, and of the land 
thereunto adjoining, amounting in the whole to the sume of 
one thousand acres and upwards of meadow and upland ; 
and whereas Capt. Andrew Belcher of the town of Boston in 
the province of the Massachusetts Bay in Newengland, mer- 
chant, hath by purchase gained to himselfe and his heirs 
forever all the estate, right and title that the heirs or assignes 
of the said Jonathan Gilbert had or might have in or to the 
said four hundred and seventie acres of land, meadow and 
upland, and whatever right might accrue to them by the said 
purchase of the native right, and hath petitioned this Assem- 
bly for a pattent to be granted out to him for a full confirma- 
tion of the same to him, his heirs and assignes forever. This 
Assembly considering that the said Andrew Belcher hath 
expended a considerable estate upon the said land in building 
tennantable houses and settling tennants therein, and other 
improvements which are like to be a publick as well as 
private benefitt, the said tennements being conveniently 
situate for the relief of travailers in their journying from 
place to place, for his incouragement to goe forward with his 
improvements doe see cause to grant his petition, and doe 
now give and grant unto the said Andrew Belcher all the said 
four hundred and seventie acres of meadow and upland (as 
it is laid out and bounded, or described to be bounded, in a 
plott or survey thereof exhibited in this Assembly under the 
hand of Mr. Caleb Stanley, surveyor), to be to him the said 
Andrew Belcher, his heirs and assignes forever ; and doe 
order that the said Andrew Belcher shall have a pattent for 
the said four hundred and seventie acres of land so butted 


and bounded as in the said plott is described, the patient to 
be signed by the Governour and Secretarie in the name and 
behalfe of the Govern 1 " and Companie of this her Majesties 
Colonie, which pattent shall be of full force and virtue to all 
intents and purposes in the lawe for the ensureing and sure 
making of all the said purchased and granted lands so butted 
and bounded as aforesaid, and every part and parcell thereof, 
with all the profitts, priviledges and appurtenances thereunto 
belonging, and from time to time thence arising, unto him the 
said Andrew Belcher, his heirs and assignes forever, accord- 
ing to the true intent and meaning thereof Provided always, 
nevertheless, that there shall be a country road or highway 
through the said farme or part thereof, as there shall be occa- 
sion. 1 Capt. John Hamlin moving to this Court for a grant 
of a tract of land to Capt. Andrew Belcher, which land lieth 
between said M r Belcher's farme at Merriden and the moun- 
tain called Lamentation, this Court doe order Capt. Thomas 
Hart and M r Caleb Stanley jun r to survey said tract of land 
and make return thereof to this Court in May next, both as to 
the quantitie and qualitie of said land." 

In May 1704, the committee handed in the following 
report : 

"To the Hon 1 ' 1 the Gen r " Assembly of the Colonie 
of Conecticutt sitting in Hartford, May the n"' 1704. 
Whereas, the Generall Assembly of the said Colonie held at 
Newhaven October the 14"', 1703, did order and appoint us 
the subscribers hereunto to measure and survey a certain tract 
of land adjoining to Capt. Andrew Belcher's farme called 
Merriden, and lying between the said farme and the top or 
ridge of the mountain usually called Lamentation Mountain 
(which said tract of land the said Belcher did petition for to 
the said Court), and to make our return thereof to this Hon nl 
Court now sitting, both as to the quantitie and qualitie thereof. 

I The survey of Capt. Belcher's farm is recorded in Book I), folio 318, 
319. 320. 


In pursuance whereof, \ve, the said subscribers, did survey 
and measure the said tract of land in maner as follows, viz., 
from the southeast corner of the said farme we run and 
measured east (by the needle of the surveying instrument) 
eighty rods, and then east seventeen degrees, northerly sixtie- 
eight rods to the top of the said mountain, and from the 
northeast corner of the said farme, we run and measured 
east 29 degrees, southerly one hundred and twentie rods to 
the top of the same mountain. We also found the said 
mountain to lye and bear near north thirtie degrees easterly, 
south thirtie degrees westerly, and considering the same with 
the lines that are the eastern boundary of the said farme 
(having a plott thereof before us), we found that the said land 
petitioned for as aforesaid, doth contain about two hundred 
and eightie acres. And as to the qualitie thereof, by reason 
that the same is almost wholly consisting of steep, rocky, hills 
and very stony land, we judge it to be very mean, and of 
little vallue All which we humbly present to this Hon 1 ' 1 



"This Assembly grants to Capt. Andrew Belcher of Boston, 
merch 1 , and to his heirs forever, the tract of land mentioned 
in the above survey, containing about two hundred and eightie 
acres with the bounds and abutmentts as above exprest, and 
that he shall have a pattent for the confirmation of it accord- 
ingly, to be signed according to lawe in the name of this 
Assembly. Always provided it shall not intrench upon the 
properties of any other person, or upon any plantation.'" 

I Andrew Belcher was son of Andrew Belcher, who was in Sudbury, 
Mass., in 1639. He was born Jan. i, 1647. He married July I, 1670,. 
Sarah, daughter of Jonathan Gilbert, and had Andrew, born March 12, 
1672; Deborah; Mary, born March 7, 1680; Ann, born March 30, 1684; 
Martha, born March 29,1686; Elizabeth, born Jan. 12, 1678; Jonathan, 
born Jan. 8, 1682; which last was the royal Governor of Mass. 173010 


In a deed dated October 15, 1664, the northern part 
of this tract is called Merideen, and in another deed of 
1672 it is called Moridan, and "bounded partly on the 
Mattabesick River where it may be allowed of the town 
of Farmington." This valley was a rich alluvial soil, 
and might be termed bottom land. But owing to its low 
situation, the name of Meriden was abandoned for that 
of" Great Swamp." It was a part of the hunting grounds 
of the Mattabesett tribe of Indians, and tradition says 
their lodge or settlement was at the place called now, 
and has been for many years, " Beckley Quarter.'" 

In the upper part of this purchase, at a place now 
called " Christian Lane," Richard Seymour and others 
began a settlement as early as 1686. Here stood the 
Seymour Fort, or Palisades, within which the cabins 
were constructed, and to which all the settlers repaired 
at nightfall, for safety against the Indians, and for quiet 
rest. 3 The well at which they quenched their thirst, 
still furnishes the best water. It was dug in the center 
of the fort. In 1705, twenty-nine persons residing in 
the " Great Swamp," petitioned the General Assembly 
to annex unto their bounds 

' All those lands that are between our bounds southward, 

1 The first Knglish settler of this locality was sergeant Richard 
Keckley, a planter in New Haven Colony, 1639, but moved to this part 
of the State, which from his day has been called " Beckley quarter." The 
following shows his title to the land, and is from the records of lands for 
Wethersfield : "25 Feb. 1680. Lands belonging to Sergt. Richard Beckley 
and to his heirs and assigns forever, lying in Wethersfield, upon Conccti- 
cutt river, which he purchased of Terranmogus ( Indian), with the consent 
of the court, and town of \Vcther>tii Id." 

2 This fort was made of palisades sixteen feet long, .sharp at the top, 
and firmly set in the ground near together. 


and Wallingford bounds northward, for the benefit of the 
taxes of said lands," 

for the support of a minister. The territorial limits of 
Wallingford, extended northward, only to Pilgrim's Har- 
bor, or what is now West Meriden. Between Wallingford 
on the south, Middletovvn on the east, and Belcher's farm 
on the north, and part of the west, there lay a tract of 
land, of somewhat undefined boundaries. The " old road" 
passed through it. The following appears to have been 
the earliest deed of this part of Meriden : 

"Oct. 15, 1664. 

" Know all men by these presents, that I Seaukeet, 
Indian, ( abiding in or about Hartford, on Conec't. ) Sachem, 
owner and true propriertor of a large tract of Land in the 
woods towards New Haven att and about the land now in 
possession of Mr. Jonathan Gilbert, 1 intitled and known by 
the name Merideen, doe sell unto Edward Higbey, one parcell 
of land adjoining to the lands of Jonathan Gilbert, aforesaid, 
Hills, Rocks, brooks, swamps and all other appurtenances, 
bounded and formerly delivered, by marked trees, and by the 
land of sayd Jonathan Gilbert and Pilgrim's Harbor Brook 
or River all which sayd parcell of land with all prerogatives, 
privileges and any kind of appurtenances thereon, and there- 
unto belonging, it shall be lawful for the sayd Edward Higbey, 
his heirs and assigns, to improve, possess, enjoy, and that for- 
ever, as fully and as freely as the said Seaukeet ever did or 
might have clone. In witness thereof, by these presents, I 
bind myself, my heirs and assigns, quietly and peaceably to 

I Extract from the last will and testament of Jonathan Gilbert, Feb. 
12, 1682-3. "Item, I give to my son Nathaniel Gilbert, my farm at 
Meriden, with all the house and land thereunto belonging, and all priv- 
iledges thereunto to him and his heirs forever, and also I give to him 
thirty pounds more out of my estate or in cattle to stock the said farm." 
Hartford Probate Records; Vol. IV. 


leave in the full possession of all the premises, the sayd 
Edward Higbey, never to be molested by me the sayd Seau- 
keet, my heirs, or any other Indian or Indians whatsoever 
and so subscribe my name, 

the mark ) of SEAUKEET. 

" In presence and witness of Bryan Rossetter and 
Mary Gilbert." 

It seems that there were other claimants to the same 
land, for in 1682 another Indian, by the name of Adam 
Puit, sold to John Talcott, a tract which, from the de- 
scription, must have been identical with the one de- 
scribed in the deed of Seaukeet. 

Hartford, August 10, 1684. [date of record.] 
" Know all men whom this may concern, that I, Adam Puit, 
Indian, belonging and now residing at Podunk, 1 have and doe 
hereby morgage all my land lyeing upon the Road towards 
Newhaven, beyond and next adjoining to Jonathan Gilbert's 
farme, which tract of land being in length East and West Six 
Miles, and in breadth North and South five miles, with all the 
swamps, Rivers and meadow Land lyeing within the said 
Bounds and limits thereof, to John Talcott of Hartford in 
Conecticut Colony and his heirs forever. And in case the 
said Adam Puit do pay for and make full satisfaction for one 
parcell of Trucking cloaths in hand received of the said John 
Talcut within one full year after the sale hereof, and in case 
we the said partyes agree about the said land before the end 
and term of one year (to say), for the purchase or sale thereof, 
the said Adam is to receive foure coats more, as full satisfac- 
tion for the purchase thereof, the premises not being performed 
as above said, I the said Adam Puit doe fully and freely 

I Podunk, was the original name of ;i river in Windsor, and was also 
the name of an Indian tribe, residing near tliat river. 


resign and deliver up the said land to John Talcott and his 
heires forever, to be theirs to possess, to enjoy, and to hold as 
their own, forever, as witnesseth my mark on the day and 
vear above said. 

The mark of ADAM n T^S PUIT. 

"Witnessed buy us: Sammuel Talcott, Dorothy Talcott." 

" Hartford, October 18, 1682. 

" Nesahegan indian, Cherry indian, and \\onummiss Indian, 
belonging to Tunksis and Hartford, all appeared at Hartford 
on this 1 8 th day of October, and certify and witness that 
Adam Puit above written in the deed of gift aforesaid hath 
soald right and tittle in the land above said, being about six 
miles East and West and five miles North and South ; beyond 
and next adjoyning to Jonathan Gilberts farms in the way to 
Newhaven, which we understand is now sold to Major John 
Talcott. This we certify and know to be true unto the year 
and day above written. 

"Before me, Robert Treat, Deputy Governor." 

The next year, 1683, Mr. Talcott wrote the following 
letter to Wallingtbrd. assigning over to the town all his 
right and title to this land : 


" " After Sallutation presented, these may enforme you that I 
have sent you your long waited for indian Deed and purchase, 
by my cousan Sammuell Wakeman : it was finished on the 
second day of the present week. Gentillmen, I confess my 

many errors by reason of the after Blots, also at the of 

it mistake a name or two in the first part, but recovered in 
the latter part, for that I hope nothing therein will prove, 
above the nature of circumstantial! error. As for the sub- 
stance it will hold firme and good in law, for your security. 
The truth is I was shortenened for time, and having but one 


day after the court to write in and draw the modell of the 
deed before the indians were appointed to be at my house, 
and then there came a considerable company of them, that I 
could not doe anything in reference to drawing it over more 
faire, being willing to gaine as many hands and seals as I 
could then, otherwise it would have been more decently pre- 
pared and presented to your view : and that time of drawing 
many people crowding in upon me put me beyond my ordi- 
nary pace, and the indian names being many and odd, were 
hard, difficult to retaine and distinctly and precisely to enter, 
and hath often been in my thoughts to have reviewed it, but 
have feered that I should not geet the indians together to 
signe, they lived in such a scattered way, and a great distance 
one from another, that in another year in reason would have 
been little enough to have brought this matter to pass, and 
thought perhaps some might die whose names were in as 
a> was almost the case of the young sunk squa, so that I 
thought it to be a tedious a business, to adventure upon that 
which had proved soe troublesome already. Some of these 
your Gintlement may rememember what court it was that the 
indians agreed in Mr. Adams orchard, they would meet at 
my house ; at that time I had a day as I sayd, before me to 
write and draw ; now hopeing worthy Gentile men and friends 
you will excuse me wherein I have fallen short of your expec- 
tation, granting your favorable acceptance of what I have 
herewith presented to your view, who am, honoured Gentile- 
ment and friends, your reall 

friend and faithful Servant, 


November, nth, 1681. 

The following is the deed of assignment, to the town 
of Wallingford : 

" Know all men by these presents, that I John Tulcott of 
Hartford, in Conecticut colony, do fully, freely, clearly and 
absolutely, Alienate, assign and set over, resign and deliver 


up all my right, title, and interest, in the within deed of sale,' 
to Mr. Sammuel Street, Mr. John Moss, Lieut. Nathaniell 
Meriman, Mr. John Brockett, Sergt. Abraham Dowlittle of 
Wallingford, within the said colony of Conecticut, to them- 
selves for their proper use only benefit and behoof, of them- 
selves and the inhabitants of the sayd towne of Wallingford 
within the said colony ; to them, their heires and assigns 
forever, to hold, use, occupy and improve the same, withall 
the emoluments, rents, emunitys, priviledges, franchises, com- 
oditys and appurtenances, whatsoever and herein consigned, 
granting him and every one of them, full power and authority 
to Record the same to themselves, their heires and assigns 
forever, for the confirmation of the premises, for myself, 
heires, executors and Administrators doe fully ratifie and 
confirm this assignment unto Mr. Sammuel Street, Mr. John 
Moss, and to their heires and assigns forever, as witnesseth 
my hand and seal this fifteenth of May in the year of our 
lord, one thousand six hundred eighty and three. 

"JOHN TALCOTT, seal. (^ 
"Witnessed by John Church, Daniel Butler." 

The first deed to the New Haven planters is dated 
December, 1638, and was renewed in 1645. But on 
pretense of the Indians, that they had made a reserve 
of some appurtenances in former grants, another pur- 
chase was made, and a valuable consideration given for 
an unreserved deed of "12 large miles long, and 8 
broad ;" the breadth extending from " Wharton's brook 
to Pilgrim's Harbor." The addition of three miles to 
the breadth, from the last mentioned place, was made by 

i The land is not described and bounded in this assignment ; but in the 
original records this assignment is accompanied by a copy of the Adam 
Puit deed, and in his letter he speaks of this "deed of sale," as the one 
received by him from Puit. 


the government. This Indian deed is dated at Hartford, 
May, 24, 1 68 1 , and is as follows : 

" Whereas our predecessors Mantowese, Sachem, in the 
yeare one Thousand Six hundred Thirty and eight, in Decem- 
ber the eleventh, by a Generall deed off grant, Alienated, en- 
seosed and sold a tract of land, to Theophilus Eaton, Esqi r , 
Mr. John Davenport, Minister, and to other English Planters 
of Quinnipiage, Alias Newhaven, as by an instrument at large 
doth appeare, and soe by a second grant as by an Instrument 
dated in the year one Thousand Six hundred forty and five. 
In the month May of that said year, Renewed the former 
grant, and tract of land, to run from a great pond in New- 
haven East meadow Twenty Miles North, and to be thirteen 
miles in breadth East and west, which said tract of land was 
made over unto Theophilus Eaton Esquire, Mr. Stephen 
Goodyear, and Mr. Thomas Grigson gentillmen of the foresaid 
Newhaven Now know ye, that I, Mantowese his sister sunk 
squa, and now wife to Nesumbocum, and munnappask, Mim- 
iaque and munnappask, sunk squa, matoes son, Matant son, 
had come right in those the aforesaid lands so sold by our 
predecessors, and whereas I Mimiaque, Accacant, his son, Ma- 
pashunt, Puttugquatum, and Wyashun, have good right and 
title to land on the west side of Wallingford Bounds, and 
being desired grants two miles in breadth East and West and 
the whole length of the said Wallingford bounds, as granted 
to them by the general court of conecticutt colony, shall be 
added according as shall be hereafter inclusively and abso- 
lutely taken within, and unto their bounds granted to the 
plantation of Wallingford by the foresaid gen' ! court, for 
avoiding of all differences, that may hereafter arise or happen 
to be between us Sunk Squa, now wife to Nessumboccum mun- 
napsk sunk squa, Matoes son, Matant son, mamiaque, Acca- 
cant, his son Wagashunt, Puttugquatton and Wayshun, and 
the Inhabitants of Wallingford, and proprieters of the same 
plantation, and their haires or assignes, have granted and made 


this Indenture, this twenty and fourth of may, in the year one 
thousand six hundred eighty and one, Between us Sunk Squa 
wife of Nesumbockum, munapask sunk squa, Matoes son, ma- 
tant son, mimiaque, Accanant, his son wyashunt, and May- 
shon, and Mr. Sammuell Street minister, Mr. John Moss, leu- 
tenant Nathanell Meriman, Mr. John Brocket, and Sergant 
Abraham Dowlittle, all proprietors within the towneship and 
plantation of Wallingford in the colony of conecticut in New 
England, witnesseth that we sunk squa wife to Nebocacum 
mannappook sunk squa, Matoes son, Matant son mimiaque 
Accanant his son, Wayashunt and wayshon, being the Right- 
full owners successors and rightfull and surviveing heirs, that 
can make any claime or demand upon, or of propriety 
in that tract of land, which is circumscribed by Bounclearise 
hereafter mentioned, as being and belonging to the Township 
of Wallingford, for many good causes and considerations, 
hereunto us moveing, and for a valuable consideration, 
sum and sums of currant pay of this country, to us in hand 
payd in full satisfaction for all our rights, in the foremen- 
tioned, tract and parcel! of land lyeing and being within the 
towneship of Wallingford, the receipts whereof we doe ac- 
knowledge, and by these presents do freely, fully, clearly, and 
absolutely, give bargains and sell enseose and confirme, unto 
Mr. Sammuell Street, Mr. John Moss, Lent. Nathaniel Merri- 
man, Mr. John Brocket, Seriant Abraham Dowlittle, in the 
behalf of the inhabitants and proprietors, of the lands be- 
longing to the township of Wallingford to them, their heirs, 
and their assigns for ever, all that tract of land from a place 
called whortons Brook south and from thence to runn to a 
place comonly called pilgrims Harbor, North, being about 
eight miles distance which is the breadth of the said bounds, 
and in Length, from East to the west end to be twelve miles, 
five miles to run east, from the east side quinipiage River 
and seven miles thereof to run west from the west side of 
quinipiage River, the whole bounds to be being about eight 
miles broad and twelve large miles in length to have and to 


hold possess and enjoy, all the aforesaid Tract or parcell of 
land, as it is now bounded with all the immunities, privilidges, 
rights, pastures, comonage, Timber, wood, Trees, under-wood, 
Stones, Quaryes, minnerals, Brooks, ponds, Rivers, tithings, 
profits, comodities, Imoluments, and appurtinances, whatso- 
ever is belonging thereunto, to Mr. Samuel Street, Mr John 
Moss, Leutt. Nathaniel Merriman, Mr. John Brocket, Seriant 
Abraham Dowlittle, in behalf of themselves and in the behalfe 
of the inhabitants and proprietors of the lands belonging to 
the towneship of Wallingford, to them their heirs and as- 
signes, for there owne and only proper benefite use and be- 
hoolfe forever. And we the aforesaid [here follows the 
Indian names] do warrant, and approve the aforesaid Mr. 
Samuell Street, Mr. John Moss, Mr. Nathaniell meriman, Mr. 
John Brocket, Ser. Abraham Dowlittle, that we have full 
power, good right, and lawful authority to bargaine and sell 
the before mentioned Tracts withal 1 the appurtenances and 
singular, the privilidges thereunto belonging, and we the said 
[here follows the Indian names] give the said Samuel Street 
[and others] and the rest of the inhabitants and proprietors 
of the lands within the towneship of Wallingford, full power 
and authority, to record the premises to themselves, to their 
heirs and assignes for ever, and we [here follow the Indian 
names] do promise, covenant, to and with the said Sammuell 
Street, John Moss, (and others) and the rest of the inhabi- 
tants and proprietors of the towneship of Wallingford, them, 
their heires and Asignes shall and may by force and vertue 
hereof, from time to time and at all times hereafter, and for 
ever lawfully, peaceably and quietly hold, use and occupie, 
possesse and enjoy the aforesaid Tract and parcell of land as 
it is circumscribed and bounded, withall its rights, members, 
emunityes, privilidges and appertinances, and have receive 
and take the rents, issues, emoluments and profits thereof to 
theire own and only use, and proper behoofe for ever, without 
any lawful test suite, trouble, molestation, or disturbance 
whatsoever, from us or any of us, the said sunk squa [here 


follow the Indian names] our heires, successors or assignes, 
or any person, or persons, whatsoever, from by or under us 
our successors, or assignes, or from by or under us oure or 
there act, meanes, consent, previty, or procurement. And we 
sunk squa [here follow the Indian names] both for them- 
selves, heires, and executors, administrators and assignes, 
shall and do, cleer, and clerely acquitt, exonerate and dis- 
charge, or otherwise sufficiently save harmless the sayd 
Samuel Street [and others] and the rest of the inhabitants 
and proprietors of the towne of Wallingford, themselves their 
Associates, their heires, Executors, Administrators and As- 
signes, forever, from all former and other grants, gifts, Bar- 
gaines, titles, troubles, demands, and Incumbrances, whatso- 
ever, had made, committed, suffered, or done by us or any of 
us, the aforesaid sunk squa [here follow the Indian names] 
upon the promises and in witness whereof, we have hereunto, 
signed sealed and made delivery of the premises aforesaid, in 
the year one Thousand six hundred, eighty and one, May the 
Twenty and foure. In the presence wittnesse us. 




COGRINOSETT (^/? his mark, Interpreter. 
NESAUTAG, M. his mark, Interpreter. 

USCOA ~3V his mark. 

SIMON < vV ! Q_ his mark, Interpreter. 

NECONUMP v3 his mark. 

NODANTE Q) his mark. 


JOHN PAGAN, Interpreter, J_ his mark 
TUNSTACUM (7 his mark. 

AWAWOSE Q'k-' his mark. 
WAYASHUNT ? his mark and seal. (H) 

WETANT son, his ^ri mark and seal. 
MIMIAQUE his ^L .mark and seal. (Tp 

ACCANANT his l/i^ mark and seal. (Cj) 
the SUNK SQUA her (^ mark and seal. 

MATTUGQUATUN, his (J7 mark and seal. 

MANAPUSH, her X mark and seal, (^p 

The Indians who sold the land to Davenport, Eaton 
etc., stipulated that they might hunt over the district as 
before, and that a tract might be reserved for them on 
the east side of the harbor sufficient for their small pop- 
ulation to plant on. Even on this tract the English 
might use the meadows and cut down the trees at pleas- 
ure. Many other conditions were annexed, each party 
promising not to molest the other, and to make all 
suitable reparation, if any injury should ever be done. 
The Quinnipiacs stated the number of their men and 


youths at forty-seven ; and covenanted that they would 
admit no other Indians among them without first having 
leave from the English. Little did they think, that in 
the course of years the white population would increase 
from scores to hundreds, and from hundreds to thou- 
sands ; and .the deep forests would be cut down ; that the 
wild animals would disappear ; that the fish would grow 
few in the rivers ; and the poor remnant of the Quinni- 
piacs would eventually leave the graves of their fore- 
fathers, and wander away to another land. Could they 
have anticipated that a change so wonderful, and, in 
their history, so unprecedented, would of necessity follow 
the coming of the white man, they would have preferred 
the wampum tributes of the Pequots and the scalping 
parties of the Five Nations, to the vicinity of a people 
so kind, so peaceful and yet so destructive. 

A reservation of thirty acres, laid out in three lots, 
often acres each, was early made in East Haven for the 
Quinnipiacs. They cultivated these lots by rotation, 
each one being planted in its turn while the other two 
lay unused. The last sachem of the tribe died in 1740. 
About 1768, some of the Quinnipiacs removed to Far- 
mington, where land was bought for them among the 
Tunxis, with the proceeds of what they had sold in East 
Haven. In 1773, there were 1363 Indians in the col- 
ony; a few families and single individuals are still to 
be found in different parts of the State, but are chiefly 
of mixed blood. In 1774, there were but four Indians 
in Wallingford. When the town was first settled the 
Indians were very much disliked, and in more than one 
instance, when the hat or contribution box was carried 
round in the meeting house for money to christianize In- 
dians, instead of a coin, a bullet was dropped in, as if it 


were the fittest missionary. Children were often 
quieted by the cry, "The Indians are coming "! 

The male Indians did little manual labor. They spent 
their time in hunting, fishing, contriving wars and exe- 
cuting them, or, when leisure was allowed for indulgence, 
in a dull round of animal enjoyments. They had no 
regular division of time, ate no regular meals, and had 
no hours set apart for social enjoyment. While her 
lord lay under the shade of a tree within sight of the 
cornfield, and snored away the hours of a summer after- 
noon, the squaw turned up the sods, and drew the dark 
rich loam around the maize ; or, not far off, in the mortar 
that had been worn ages before in some earthfast rock, 
her stone pestle fell in regular strokes upon the shining 
kernels that she had raised the year before, and laid care- 
fully aside, to furnish the requisite supply of " samp," 
that constituted the staple of the Indian's food. As 
might be inferred from their habits, the squaws were 
strong and hardy, and more capable of enduring fatigue 
than the men, though their figures were not so slender 
and graceful. Of household furniture they had little. 
A few cooking vessels of wood and stone, a knife made 
of shell or a species of reed, made up nearly the whole 

" Poor, crouching children of the brave ! 
Lo! where the broad and sparkling wave 
Anointed once the freeman's shore, 
Your father's tents arise no more."" 

They are gone ! No monuments preserve their mem- 

1 Hollister, i. 38. Trumbull, i. 4748. Deforest's Hist, of the 
Indians of Conn., 6. 

2 Sands' Yamoyden, i. 21. 



ory, no graven tablets bear the record of their greatness. 
Beautifully wrote the poet Sprague : 

" O doubly lost ! oblivion's shadows close 

Around their triumphs and their woes. 

On other realms, whose oft set, 

Reflected radiance lingers yet ; 

Their sage and bard have shed a light 

That never shall go down in night ; 

Their time-crowned columns stand on high, 

To tell of them who cannot die ; 

Even we, who then were nothing, kneel 
In homage there, and join earth's general peal. 
But the doomed Indian leaves behind no trace, 
To save his own, or serve another's race ; 
With his frail breath his power has passed away, 
His deeds, his thoughts are buried with his clay ; 

Nor lofty pile, nor glowing page 

Shall link him to a future age, 

Or give him with the past a rank ; 
His heraldry is but a broken bow, 
His history but a tale of wrong and woe, 

His very name must be a blank.-'" 

Storey has portrayed with an eloquent pen the fate ot 
the unfortunate Indians ; words that awaken our sympa- 
thy, and disturb the sobriety of our judgment. " Two 
centuries ago, the smoke of their wigwams and the fires 
of their councils rose in every valley, from Hudson's 

i It has often been wondered how the aborigines of America came to 
be called Indians ; some have supposed it to be a popular appellation 
arising from their dark color. In a copy of Theatrum Orbis Term rum, 
Antwerp, 1583, by Abraham Ortelius, geographer to the king, there is a 
map entitled Typus Orbis Terrarum, in which I find America called 
America sive India Nova, How it came to get the name of India. Nova is 
another question. 


Bay to the furthest Florida, from the ocean to the Mis- 
sissippi and the lakes. The shouts of victory and the 
war-dance rang through the mountains and glades. The 
thick arrows and the deadly tomahawk whistled through 
the forest, and the hunter's trace from the dark encamp- 
ment startled the wild beasts in their lairs. But where 
are they ? The ashes are cold 

on their native hearths. The smoke no longer curls 
round their lowly cabins. They move on, with a slow, 
unsteady step. The white man is upon their heels, for 
terror or dispatch ; but they heed him not. They turn 
to take a last look of their deserted villages. They cast 
a last glance upon the graves of their fathers. They 
shed no tears ; they utter no cries ; they heave no groans. 
There is something in their hearts which passes speech. 
There is something in their looks, not of vengeance or 
submission, but of hard necessity, which stifles both, 
which chokes all utterance, which has no aim or method. 
It is courage absorbed in despair. They linger but for 
a moment. Their look is onward. They have passed 
the fatal stream. It shall never be repassed by them ; no, 
never ! Yet there lies not between us and them an im- 
passable gulf. They know and feel that there is for 
them still one remove further, not distant nor unseen. 
It is to the general burial-ground of the race ! " 




THE ancient town of Wallingford included within its 
bounds all the lands within the towns of Meriden, 
Cheshire, and all the eastern part of Prospect ; and for 
many years after its settlement was one of the largest 
and most important towns in the colony. It was ten 
miles in length from north to south, and the same from 
east to west. It was bounded north by the wilderness 
of Farmington (now Southington), and Wolcott ; west 
by the town of Waterbury ; south by New Haven, and 
east by Branford and the Totoket mountains. It was 
watered on the east by the Black Pond, Pistapaug Pond 
and Muddy river. The Quinnipiac river takes its rise 
in the town of Farmington, and passes through the 
whole central portion of the town, affording numerous 
and valuable mill privileges. Several other streams 
afford water power to a number of manufactories. 

The village is situated 41 cleg. 33 min. north, and 
73 deg. 14 min. west ; is twelve miles from New Haven, 
and about twenty-three miles from Hartford, and is beau- 
tifully situated on a hill extending nearly a mile and a 
half from north to south, the whole length of which runs 
the principal or main street, which is adorned on either 


side with elms and maple trees. Parallel to this is the 
lower street, also adorned with large and lofty elms ; in 
addition to these, the several cross streets render the 
walks and drives about the village extremely pleasant 
and attractive. Beautiful views may be had of the Blue, 
and also of the Hanging Hills, from the windows of 
almost every house in the town. The face of the coun- 
try is somewhat rolling, and is generally well adapted to 
grazing, but when properly cultivated will produce 
abundant crops. 

The ridge on which Wallingford is situated, consists 
of a series of more or less detached dikes, succeeding 
each other in the same order as the different elevations 
of the trap ridges, and forming on the whole, a well 
marked curvilinear range. At the commencement it 
forms a short, very strongly marked curve, consisting of 
a series of small dikes, composed partly of a very fine- 
grained, small, fragmentary trap, and partly of a trap 
conglomerate, traversed by threads of a similar fine- 
grained trap. 1 These dikes are bordered by an indurated 
sandstone, partly colored light green, with fragments of 
red feldspar disseminated. In passing through the vil- 
lage of Wallingford, the range is concealed by diluvium, 
but has been exposed by excavation. It re-appears near 
the northeast part of the village, and further north in a 
sandstone ridge, east of the road from Wallingford to the 
pass at Black Pond, where it bends abruptly east, and 
crosses a stream (Wharton's Brook), in a remarkable 
dike, bordered by green indurated sandstone. 

Large beds of sandstone are found in Wallingford and 

I Several unstratified rocks, whose principal ingredients are feldspar and 
hornblende or augite, are called trap rocks, from the Swedish word Imppa 
a stair; because they are often arranged in the form of stairs or steps. 


Meriden. They form large elevations or high rounded 
ridges, opposite the south point of Lamentation moun- 
tain, 1 and of the Hanging Hills, exhibiting an advance in 
that direction corresponding to that of the main trap 
ranges. Most of the sandstone is of a coarse, decompos- 
able and variegated variety. Less decomposable varieties 
occasionally occur, usually in immediate connection with 

i The tradition is, that " a Mr. Chester, who was one of the first settlers 
of Wethersfield, having some business to perform in the south part of the 
town, which was then a wilderness, became lost in the woods. Being 
missed, his neighbors went in search of him, making noises in the woods, 
and uttering lamentations. After a lapse of several days, his neighbors 
had the good fortune to meet with him on the mountain, which has ever 
since been called Mount Lamentation." The monument of Mr. Chester, 

which is one of the oldest in the State, is in the yard of the first Congre- 
gational church in Wethersfield. The device over the inscription on the 
monument has been the subject of much speculation. By some it has been 
believed to be a representation of some demon in the form of a fiery ser- 
pent, which, according to the legends of the times, appeared to Mr. Ches- 
ter while in the wilderness. 


the trap ranges, some of which are well fitted for quarry- 
ing. The more common variety usually decomposes 
speedily when exposed to the atmosphere, forming a 
coarse gravel, and in some instances, as at the the exca- 
vation of the Hartford and New Haven Railroad at 
Holt's Hill, caused during its decomposition an increased 
vegetation adjoining its fragments ; probably from the 
lime it contains. In the coarse, decomposable sandstone, 
traversed by a ravine on the middle turnpike, west of 
Wallingford, long cylindrical nodules or concretions of a 
light ash-colored compact limestone, are to be observed, 
usually somewhat contorted, and breaking in fragments, 
by joints somewhat resembling those of basalt. A thin 
bed of a fine-grained red sandstone was observed in ^he 
excavations at Holt's Hill, apparently entirely composed 
of similar but smaller cylindric concretions, breaking in 
the same basaltiform fragments. 

The trap rocks in the State are chiefly connected with 
the secondary rocks, which consist of two formations or 
basins of red sandstone and shale, closely resembling 
each other in character as well as arrangement, although 
entirely separated by a wide interposition of the western 
primary. The trap rocks present a series of dikes and 
ridges (the last a modification of the dike). There are 
four extensive trap dikes traversing the primary rocks, 
two in the western and two in the eastern primary ; one 
of the latter entirely crossing the State, from the 
Sound into Massachusetts. The different ridges and 
dikes present in each secondary formation, a system of 
curvilinear ranges, in a general N. N. K. direction (cor- 
responding to the direction of the stratification in the 
sandstone, as well as to the general direction of the pri- 
mary), and with their convexity toward the west. The 


trap in the southern subordinate formation presents two 
distinct lines of elevation, an eastern and a western. 
The first -of these is the most extensive, and traverses 
more nearly the center of the formation. It presents a 
series of four main curves, gradually increasing in ele- 
vation and extent from south to north. The. third main 
curve commences in advance of the second main curve, 
at the mountain rising between Paug Pond and the val- 
ley of the Middletown turnpike, north-east of Northford. 
It extends at first nearly north, in continuous order, 
forming the high mountain ridge east of Wallingford 
and Meriden, then advances abruptly to the ridge of 
Lamentation mountain, and again extends N. N. E. in a 
line east of Berlin, to the Mattabesick, where it bends 
rather abruptly east, in receding order, and continues in 
the same general direction, to near the west bank of the 
Connecticut, not far north of the south line of Wethers- 
field. The fourth, and most northern of these curves, is 
also the most elevated and most extensive. It commen- 
ces on the south at the Hanging Hills, in strong advan- 
cing order, in a line nearly west of the south point of 
Lamentation mountain, from which last ridge the main 
line of elevation is continued. It forms at its southern 
extremity, a short but very strongly marked curve, front- 
ing the south, and bending quite, abruptly north, extends 
at first nearly north in slightly advancing order, to Far- 
mington ( Rattlesnake) mountain, where it bears more 
N. N. Easterly, in continued order, to the Connecticut, 
at the north point of Mount Tom. It there recedes ab- 
ruptly to the east in the same manner as the preceding 
curve at the passage of the Mattabesick, and is then 
continued nearly east, in the ridge of Mount Holyoke,. to 
within a short distance of the western border of the 


eastern primary. This range presents at the S. W. and 
N. W. points, the two most elevated summits connected 
with the larger secondary formation ; namely, the Hang- 
ing Hills and Mount Tom. 

The high range east of Wallingford and Meriden pre- 
sents a series of ridges with a curvature more strongly 
marked toward the south, a'nd slightly so toward the 
north, separated from each other by transverse depress- 
ions or valleys, more deeply intersecting the range to- 
ward the south. The range near the middle point is 
crossed by a valley, cleft quite to its base, at the road 
from Wallingford to Middletown. The rock of the sum- 
mit near the Wallingford and Middletown road, is very 
coarse-grained decomposable trap, in large square blocks, 
not a little resembling syenite. In front of the more 
northern ridge, a large column of trap stands quite de- 
tached, in advance of the mural front of the ridge, visible 
as such however, only from a point nearly in the line of 
the front of the mountain. The section near the Meri- 
den and Middletown turnpike, consists of a long ridge 
of nearly uniform elevation, and of greater length than 
any other section of the range, with a distinctly marked 
curvature, thus forming a basin occupied by Black Pond. 
It is bordered on the east by an uninterrupted valley, 
distinctly exhibiting its curvature. The section extend- 
ing from the pass at Black Pond north, forms the highest 
point, next to Mount Tom and the Hanging Hills, in the 
trap system of the larger secondary formation. 

The range commencing at a low point west of the 
south point of Lamentation mountain, and rising sud- 
denly into the high abrupt range of the Hanging Hills, 
advances west a short distance, to the south-west and 
highest point of that range, and then bends abruptly 


north, in which direction it proceeds, in advancing order, 
to Cook's Gap, south of Farmington. It then bears 
more N. N. Easterly, in a long continuous range, of vari- 
able outline, to the Connecticut, at the north point of 
Mount Tom, when it bends rather abruptly east, in the 
range of Mount Holyoke, and continues in that direc- 
tion to within a short distance of Belchertown, Mass. 

The southern section of this range presents at its 
south-east point, a long, low range closely connected with 
the higher part of the main range, being separated from 
it only by the narrow pass (or ravine) of Cat-Hole, but 
extending N. N. E. to a point farther north than the 
north point of Lamentation mountain ; not, however, in 
a direction exactly parallel to the latter range, but more 
inclined to the west. It is separated from the third main 
range, by the long valley, through which the line of the 
Hartford and New Haven railroad is extended, the sum- 
mit of which is at a lower level than that of any similar 
pass through the eastern line of elevation. 

This valley is occupied by the basin of Beaver Pond, 
extending south to a point W. N. W. of the south point 
of Lamentation mountain, and opening north into the 
basin of the Mattabesick in Berlin. On the east side of 
the basin, the sandstone of Meriden extends north along 
the base of the anterior range of Lamentation mountain, 
nearly to the old toll-gate south of Berlin. The present 
range consists of two lines of elevation, separated by a 
narrow, continuous valley ; namely, a higher anterior line, 
extending along the east side of Cat-Hole, commencing 
further south, but terminating sooner toward the north ; 
and a lower posterior line, commencing in a group of 
detached elevations of fragmentary trap and amygda- 
loid, south-west of Beaver Pond, and continued north in 


a long, nearly uniform ridge, to a point nearly west of 
the north point of Lamentation mountain, where it is 
succeeded, in advancing order, by a wide, short range, 
consisting of several parallel ridges of trap. 

West of the pass at Cat-Hole, the higher part of the 
fourth main range commences, in a short, detached 
elevation, separated from the range further west by a 
deep cross valley (the Notch), opening nearly north. 
This ridge presents a high mural front to the south-east 
and south, and also to the west, toward the Notch, and 
on the north, sends off two lower spurs from its eastern 
and western extremities, indicating a strong, marked 
curvature. These spurs terminate in low points, about 
half a mile north of the main range. The trap of this 
southern section of the main range generally consists of 
the compact crystalline variety ; amygdaloid rarely 
occurring, except in low points or hummocks, near the 
termination of the different ridges. 

By the terms Diluvium and Alluvium, are considered 
all the unconsolidated materials accumulated on the sur- 
face. These are either accumulated loosely and irregu- 
larly, or arranged in distinct beds or strata. The former 
were apparently deposited by currents, sweeping over 
the general surface, or more confined in their operation ; 
or have been derived from the decomposition of the rocks 
on which they immediately rest. The stratified ma- 
terials were apparently deposited from water, in a state of 
comparative repose, as in lakes and estuaries, and are 
generally found in valleys or basins. The greater part 
of the diluvium was apparently deposited by a general 
current, traversing from N. N. W. to S. S. E. This is 
satisfactorily indicated, both by the bowlders, scattered 
over the surface, or imbedded in the diluvial earth, and 


by smaller fragments included in the latter, as well as 
by its general character. 

Blocks are found scattered through Meriden and 
Wallingford, which originally came from the northern 
parts of the State and perhaps within the limits of Mas- 
sachusetts, N. N. W. from the points where they are now 
met with. They consist chiefly of the coarse white 
granite, accompanying the mica slate, the granitic gneiss 
of the included basins, and a light bluish compact mica 
slate with transverse scales of mica, such as abound in the 
vicinity of Conway, Mass. Where the current has been 
rapid, and the country rocky or stony, the alluvions 
are gravelly or cobbly, and of little agricultural value. 
Where the current was slow, and the country of a differ- 
ent character from the preceding, the alluvions consist 
of a clayey or sandy loam, of greater or less fertility. 
In the north part of Meriden, there are extensive beds 
of peat, which may, perhaps, at some future period 
prove to be a resource of no little importance. 1 

The mineral that is found in the largest quantities in 
Meriden is the datholite. This is found in large quanti- 
ties in the ancient volcanic rock, the trap. The very 
rare and costly salt, borax, has not yet been detected 
in the United States ; nor has been discovered the 
elementary acid of this salt in an insulated state, with 
which as it exists in Europe, borax is so easily made. 
Yet in the datholite, boracic acid is present in the 
proportion of from twenty-one to thirty-five per cent. 
Its other ingredients are silica and lime. This is 
decomposed by means of sulphuric acid ; and the borax 

i A vertebra of a mammoth was found, several years since, in excavat- 
ing a peat swamp, at New Britain; the only instance of the kind that has 
yet occurred in the State. 


may be formed by adding carbonate of soda, and with- 
drawn from the silica and sulphate of lime, by crys- 

Adjoining the Meriden and Waterbury turnpike, a 
large red porphyritic rock occurs, with dark sub-por- 
phyritic, and dark micaceous hornblendic alternations. 
Farther north, at the termination of the formation, the 
prevalent rock is lighter grey, more granitic, sub-porphy- 
ritic, and more rarely small porphyritic, with large beds 
of a nearly white very feldspathic granitic gneiss. A 
similar white granitic gneiss, with ferruginous micaceous 
alternations occupies a narrow band between the red 
porphyritic rock just noticed, and the formation on the 
west. Native copper has frequently been met with in 
the secondary region of the State, both in diluvium and 
attached to greenstone trap. A mass was found in 
Wallingford, half a mile west of the Hartford turnpike, 
weighing six pounds. 1 

It has been said that all the minerals and metals 
known to man could be found in Connecticut in just 
sufficient quantities not to pay the cost of getting them. 
It is not perhaps a matter of wise regret that gold and 
silver do not find a place among the metallic produc- 
tions of the State. Should these metals be detected 
within our territory, their pursuit would neither operate 
favorably upon our agricultural interests, nor tend to the 
more successful working of the more useful metals that 
are to be found in the State. That gold is not likely to 

I We are indebted for many important facts concerning the Geology of 
this part of the State, to Dr. J. G. Percival's valuable " Report on the 
Geology of the State of Connecticut," New Haven, 1842 ; and Dr. Charles 
U. Shepherd's " Report on the Geological Survey of Connecticut," 
New Haven, 1837. 


occur to any extent, may be inferred from the limited 
developments of the gold-formation. 

In the Secretary of State's office there is a document 
dated May, 1712, saying that 

"Whereas, the opening and the manufacturing of the Ore, 
will probably be of great Public benefit and advantage both 
to such towns wherein the mines are found, and to this Her 
Majesty's Colony in General. And whereas, Wm. Partridge 
of Newbury and Jonathan Belcher of Boston, Merchant, both 
of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, have entered into 
Articles of Agreem 1 with the Town of Wallingford for the 
opening of Mines in the Sd Town." 

This document goes on to state that all the miners, 
artificers and laborers connected with the mines should 
be exempted from all civil and military duties and from 
all taxes. Messrs. Belcher and Partridge were to have 
the exclusive right of working all mines in Wallingford 
with the exception of iron mines, and they petitioned 
the Governor to have recorded the articles of agreement. 
They were, 

" To hold, use and improve the mines for, by and during 
the space of eight years certain from the date of said Lease, 
and for such further and longer time and term of years from 
and after the expiration of the said eight years as the said 
Grantees their Execu trs , admin rs , or assignes, shall think fit 
and be pleased to use and Improve the same, not exceeding 
Five hundred years in the whole, for and under the Consider- 
ations, Payments and Reservations therein mentioned and 
expressed." 1 

i In October, 1722, Matthew Bellamy petitioned the General Assembly, 
" that as your petitioner is living within the township of Wallingford and 
living very near the place where the miners are at work where there is 
many of them and especyally will be many now and there being no other 
person within six or seven miles that can well find them entertainment ex- 

MINES. 47 

Very soon after the settlement of Wallingford, it was 
thought by many that in some of the hills, mineral 
wealth was abundant. They conceived that the moun- 
tains and hills abounded with precious metals and 
minerals ; and however rich the soil might be, yet that 
the bowels of the earth would afford them much greater 
wealth. About the year 1712, two mines were found in 
Connecticut. One in the town of Simsbury, and the 
other in Wallingford. They were called copper mines, 
but it was thought that the copper contained a mixture 
of a more precious kind. The mine at Wallingford was 
supposed to be the richest, but the miners were pre- 
vented from digging there on account of the great 
quantity of water which, after they had proceeded some 
depth, constantly flowed in upon them.' 

As early as 1712 the legislature enacted laws for the 
encouragement of the proprietors of the mines at Wall- 
ingford and Simsbury, and from the phraseology of the 
acts, it is quite evident that the mining business was 
then not a new thing, but had been carried on for some- 
time previous to that date. On the petition of the 
original proprietors of the lands in Wallingford, in May, 
1712, it was enacted that the heirs of the original pro- 

cept your petitioner whereupon your petitioner with the next owners of 
the mines prayeth your petitioner may have a license by an act of this 
assembly to keep a hous of entertainment that so your petitioner may 
without danger provide for and entertain the miners and others as need 
shall require and your petitioner to be under the same penalty as other 
persons that are licensed by the assembly court." 

i The mine at Simsbury was dug until the veins of copper ceased. A 
prodigious cavity was made, which in after years became the famous 
prison, called Newgate. This has l>een of much greater advantage to the 
State than all the copper dug out of it. 


prietors should have an equal share in the mine already 
discovered, and in all other mines which should here- 
after be discovered in said lands. 

In October, 1718, John Hamblin, James Wallsworth, 
Esquire, and Captain John Hall, were appointed com- 
missioners for the mining company at Wallingford for 
the term of two years ; at the expiration of the two 
years, May n, 1721, Matthew Allyn, Col. William 
Whiting, Aaron Cooke and Captain Samuel Mather 
were appointed commissioners, with power to close up 
the concern, if found necessary. The legislature and 
the public expected great benefit from the profits that 
would accrue from these mines, but it is believed that 
neither the undertakers, proprietors, nor the colony were 
ever very greatly benefited by them. Within a few 
years Mr. A. Bellamy, a descendant of the old Bellamy 
family, went to Cheshire and re-opened. the old shaft near 
the residence of the late Mr. Elias Gaylord, expecting 
to find copper ; but was unsuccessful, as had been all of 
his predecessors who had made attempts to work the 

In 1737, a company was formed for the purpose of 
working the abandoned mines ; and of this attempt we 
have an authentic account, as some of the papers relative 
to it have been preserved by the descendants of Ben- 
jamin Royce, one of the partners of the company. 
These mines were on " Milking-yard hill," and the shafts 
may still be seen there. Although it is now generally 
supposed that these excavations were made solely for 
copper mines, yet these papers indicate an expectation 
of finding gold. Indeed it is probable that the hope of 
obtaining this more precious metal was the main induce- 
ment for re-opening the abandoned works. A very 

MINES. 49 

considerable quantity of the ore was once shipped to 
England, as the means of smelting it were not to be 
found in America ; but the ship was lost at sea. Tra- 
dition asserts that the foreigners who worked in the 
mines, concealed, and appropriated to themselves, what- 
ever gold they found. For these . reasons or for other 
causes of failure, the works were once more abandoned, 
and have never been resumed. 

A company was formed called the " Golden Parlour 
Mining Company," and the following articles of co-part- 
nership were drawn up : 

" Articles of Agreement made and Concluded upon this 
twenty-seventh day of April Anno Domini, 1737, Between 
Edward Higbee of Middletown, and Walter Henderson of 
Hartford, both of y' County of Hartford, and Thomas 
Thomas of New York, Arthur Rexforcl, Sam'll Androus, 
Benj. Royse, all of Wallingforcl, in y'' County of Hartford, 
afores'd and Josiah Griswold, Thomas Goodwin, Benjamin 
Stillman, John Pierce, all of Wethersfielcl in y" County afore- 
said, Proprietors and Joint owners of a certain peice of land, 
or Mines in said Wallingforcl as lesed out to them by Timothy 
Royce, of s'd Wallingford, as will appear to said Lease, 
reference thereunto being had to carry on the work in said 
Mines, witnesseth that we the s'cl partys do covenant and 
agree to, and with each other, and do hereby obliclge and 
bind our Selves to stand to, and perform the following articles, 
viz : i. That the Name of S'cl Mine, Shall be the Golden 
J\u-loiir. 2. That the Work to be clone in said Mines, shall 
be ordered by a vote of y v Majority of y' owners, and y c 
Costs and Charges arising on y' work of y u said Mines, shall 
be paid according to y'' proportions in each owners part. 
3. That each owner's vote shall be in proportion to what part 
he owns. 4. That if any owner or owners cannot attend y" 
meeting or meetings, appointed by y'-' Majority of y e owners 
in order to manage y affairs of said mine, they shall have 



liberty to appoint any of y e owners to vote or act in his or 
their behalf and said owner so appointed shall vote or act 
there an shall be esteemed as good and valid as if the 
owner appointing was himself present. 5. That Mr. Beni. 
Royce be a Clerk to Enter and keep y votes that may from 
time to time be passed by the owners or the majority of said 
owners until y e said owners shall chuse another in his room 
in which case y e said Royce is to deliver all y" votes he has 
Entered and kept in y e Hands of said owners. 6. That the 
last Wednesday of July, October, January and April, be days, 
Stated for y f Meeting of said owners at Meriden, to make up 
the acc'tts of said mine and also to pay what Charge or Cost 
may arise between each Meeting to y e Satisfaction of y 
undertaker, and if y e majority of y c owners shall think fitt to 
order a meeting on any other time, or times besides those 
herein Stated, y e meetings so ordered and y e affairs managed 
therein shall be good and valid. 7. That these articles be 
committed into y e Hands of y 1 ' Clark for y e time being, and 
if any of y e owners desire a Copy hereof y e said Clark shall 
give it him attested under his Hand, he or they satisfying him 
therefor. In conformation of y e above mentioned articles, 
we the Subscribers, have hereunto Sett our Hands and Seals 
in Meriden, the Day and Date above mentioned. 






In presence of Amos Hall, Moses Parse, Jr., Wm. Hough." 

It appears, however, that previous to the formal 
organization of the company on paper, a partnership 
had actually existed, for a few months at least, as we 
find a pape,r dated the previous February. It is as 
follows : 

" A record kept by Benjamin Roys, Clark of proprietors of 

MINES. 5 1 

the mines in the land of Timothy Roys in Wallingford, Feb- 
ruary y e 1 1, 1736-7. Then the owners of the mines in the land 
of Timothy Roys in Wallingford, being Regularly met 
together at the hous of John Way in Wallingford, did then 
make up their Acounts of the Charg expended in the mines, 
from 8 of November 1736, which charg did amount to the 
Sum of 86;, 4$, 2d. At a meeting of the proprietors of the 
mines in the land of Timothy Roys in Wallingford, February 
y 1 ' n, 1736-7, The said owners did make A fair agreement 
with Arthur Rexford, one of the owners, to Dig ten foot in 
the north Shaft of said mines, keeping the Smoth wals east 
and west and about five foot wide finding himself Tools and 
materials for the Same, to be done in five months, for which 
work the said proprietor did unanimously agree to give Said 
Rexfbrd the Sum of eighty-one pounds, 8i -o -o." 

We have also the record of two other meetings of the 
company, as here annexed : 

" At a meeting of the Proprietors of y'' Mine in Menden 
on ye 27th day of April, 1737, Voted, that Mr. Griswold 
Should be moderator for Said meeting. That Thomas 
Thomas be an undertaker to carry on the work in Said mine 
for y c Space of three months next ensuing. That y c s'd 
Thorn. Thomas be allowed at the rate of fifteen pounds per 
month, for so much time as he spends in said service, the 
time of pay to begin when the Hands begin to work in said 
mine. That Arthur Rexford having desired to be released 
from a bargain he made to sink a Shaft of ten feet deep in 
s'd mine, that he be released. At a meeting of y u proprie- 
tors of y 1 ' mine in Meriden, on y ( ' 27th day of July, 1737. 
Voted that Mr. Griswold be Moderator for s'd meeting. 
Also, Voted, by a full Vote of the majority of y c owners, 
that y ' owners according to their proportionable parts, pay to 
Georg Bell the Sum of fourty pounds, upon his finishing a job 
of work he had undertaken to do in the Golden Parler, viz., 
to sink twelve feet in the deeper shaft nerest to docter houghs 


and to leave the bottom of the Shaft nere the wedth and 
length that it now is, to find himself with all materials, &c., 
necisary and Sutable to cary on and finish Said work. And 
at s'd meeting, July y c 27, 1737, the s'd owners made up their 
accounts which did amount to the Sum of 132^, i$s if/." 

These documents contain all the information we now 
have relative to the mines on " Milking-yard hill." 
They were probably again abandoned after the unprofit- 
able labor of two or three years. Mining operations on 
a much smaller scale were commenced in another part 
of the town. The excavations are about fifty rods east 
of the turnpike road to Hartford, nearly two miles from 
the center of the town. Dr. Percival, in his " Geological 
Survey," speaks of them as excavations for copper ; but 
tradition says that small quantities of gold, were found 
there. But there is no other information whatever as to 
the mine, its proprietors, products, or the time when it 
was worked. 

About 1750, Mr. Dan. Johnson bought of Mr. Yale, 
who was one of the first " planters" in Wallingford, a 
large tract of land lying south of the " Hanging Hills" 
and within the " Notch," so called, the picturesque pass 
or glen opening northerly from the old gate-house on 
the Southington road, toward Kensington- This land 
was purchased on account of its probable value for 
mining purposes, and has been retained in the family of 
Mr. Johnson ever since ; though the necessary expense 
of searching for ores has hitherto prevented them from 
undertaking mining operations. Within the Notch is 
an elevation called " Mining Hill," which is said by 
those acquainted with Geology to abound in indications 
of valuable minerals. 

About eighty years ago, one Mr. Parsons commenced 


an excavation a short distance west of the Hanging 
Hills, just over the line between Southington and Meri- 
den, and found gold in small quantities. It was taken 
to Hartford, assayed, and found to be pure gold. The 
search was not continued, probably on account of the 
cost ; for mining operations are usually so expensive 
that individual enterprise and wealth can rarely afford 
the cost and risk. 1 Since the above was written, we 
met the following very interesting sketch of a visit to 
Mericlen, by Professor James Dana, of Yale College : 


"The city of Meriden is situated eighteen miles to the 
north of New Haven on the railroad to Hartford, and is 45 
to 52 minutes distant in time. The villages passed on the 
way are North Haven, 7 miles; Wallingford, 12 ; Yalesville, 
15. The Hanging Hills are trap mountains i 1-2 to 2 1-2 
miles north and northwest of Meriden, remarkable for their 
steep declivities and high precipitous brows so bold and 
lofty in fact as to give to the observer beneath them an im- 
pression of overhanging, and hence the name. Those who 
visit them will appreciate the propriety of the name. 

" A mile and a half south of Meriden and three quarters of 
a mile west of the railroad, at South Mericlen, the Quinnipiac 
river changes from its north and south to an east and west 
course, on its way from the more western and parallel Farm- 
ington valley in which it rises. Since the throwing up of 
these trap elevations, the old hydrographic basins of Con- 
necticut have been greatly deranged. Instead of the simple 
north and south Connecticut estuary of Triassic times, ter- 
minating at New Haven, there is now a Connecticut river 
leaving the estuary valley in the latitude of llu-sr trap hills, 

I Perkins's Historical Sketches. 


and bending southeastward thro.ugh a region of metamorphic 
rocks. Farmington river, which flowed into the estuary from 
the western heights of Massachusetts and northern Connecti- 
cut, still enters the Farmington region ; but near Farmington 
turns abruptly north, flows in that direction sixteen miles at 
the foot of Talcott mountain and other trap hills of the range, 
then makes a cut through the range into the Connecticut 
river valley and joins that river. The Quinnipiac, which 
starts in the Farmington valley just below the northward 
bend of the Farmington river, on approaching the region of 
the trap hills of Cheshire, bends eastward out of the valley 
in front of the Hanging Hills, into the valley where the Con- 
necticut river might have had its course but for the trap 
eruptions and disturbances ; and finally, the Farmington 
valley being thus deserted by the Quinnipiac, Mill river at 
this point commences its flow, taking its rise in the adjoining 
hills, and becomes the principal stream for the rest of the 
valley southward to New Haven bay. The bend eastward in 
the Connecticut was probably a direct consequence of the 
trap eruptions and the elevations of the sandstone accom- 
panying them, and originated when the old estuary first 
dwindled to the size of a river in consequence of the rise of 
the land. But there is less evidence that the other changes 
mentioned took place at the same time ; and it may be that 
one or more date from the last elevation in the Post-tertiary 

" The city of Meriden is situated on a small branch of the 
Quinnipiac, which is called Pilgrim's Harbor brook, in 
allusion to the fact that the Regicides stopped here for a while 
on its banks and named the spot Pilgrim's Harbor. Old 
Meriden, now the eastern part of the city, occupies the sum- 
mit of a sandstone hill, a little to the eastward, and is often 
distinguished as East Meriden. The tall white spire of the 
Congregational church is seen against the sky in the north- 
ward view from the western slopes of the East Rock range. 
The three Meriden " Hills" stand together on a common line, 


facing with defiant front the south, and with the greatest alti- 
tude on the right or west. They are called West mountain, 
South mountain, and Cat-Hole Mountain ; the latter, or the 
eastern, taking its name from the "Cat-Hole," a narrow 
valley adjoining it on the west. West mountain has three 
summits, an eastern, a middle, and a western, separated from 
one another by a cut down to the lower limit of the mural 
rocks. The western of the three peaks is the highest ; the 
recent barometric measurements of Prof. Guyot make it 995 
feet above the sea. It is therefore one of the most elevated 
points in Connecticut, and excepting Mount Tom and Mount 
Holyoke, the highest trap mountain in the Connecticut valley. 

" This group of hills is the broad southern termination of 
several lines of trap dikes and ridges. The high western 
line continues through the State northward into Massachu- 
setts, and has a total length of about 55 miles ; it includes in 
its course, two ridges facing Southington : the second, called 
High Rock, nearly as high as West mountain ; three on the 
eastern borders of Farmington : the middle one, Rattlesnake 
mountain ; the long Talcott mountain between Hartford 
and Avon ; Newgate mountain in Granby ; Mount Tom, 
1,211 feet high, in Massachusetts; and Mount Holyoke, 
1,126 feet high. 

" The knotty complexity of this trap region was first un- 
ravelled by Percival, who found that remarkable system and 
"order prevailed among the numerous dikes. We refer to the 
map in his Geological Report for the facts concerning them. 
It will be found wonderfully impressive by any one who can 
appreciate its revelations with regard to the stupendous 
events of this Fire-period in New England history. It shows 
that the area of Meriden and Berlin was a great center in 
the eruptions of the era ; that the deep fractures of the earth's 
crust from which the liquid rock gushed forth were here more 
numerous and extensive than in any other part of the Con- 
necticut valley, or of all New England ; and that they were 
opened not only along the half-dozen lines headed by the 


Hanging Hills, but also farther to the eastward, Mount 
Lamentation and other heights between Mericlen and the 
Connecticut river being parts of the system. The country 
now occupied by the townships of Berlin and Wethersfield 
was crossed by eight of the great rents, averaging one for 
every mile of breadth. Why these fissures stopped so ab- 
ruptly in Meriden on a common transverse line, and with a 
long eastward bend in the principal one, besides also an east 
and west line of eruptions in front, as indicated on Percival's 
map, is a question not easy to answer. It is a case somewhat 
like that of West Rock and the transverse range of Pine and 
Mill Rocks in the New Haven region, but on a far grander 

" Of the several interesting excursions which may be made 
about Meriden, the most noted is that to the western peak of 
West mountain. To reach the mountain from Meriden, go 
westward along Main street, and its continuation, the Water- 
bury turnpike (passing Fenn's mill-pond, north of the road, 
two-thirds of a mile on, and, immediately afterward, crossing 
a road that leads northward to Cat-Hole gap and Kensing- 
ton) at the forking, 11-4 miles out, keep to the right, taking 
what is called the Southington road, and continue on it about 
i 1-2 miles farther (passing half way a road going north to 
the "Notch" between South mountain and West mountain) ; 
and when seemingly a little beyond the sought-for mountain 
and just after a descent begins in the road, a carriage-path 
will be seen on the right (north) entering the woods, showing 
by its stripes of green that it is not much used ; after half a 
mile or more upon this path, gradually ascending most of the 
way, an open spot is reached where the carriage way ends 
and the climb begins. 

" Along the road thus far, numerous fine views gladden the 
way. Here and there, glimpses are had of Mericlen, and the 
eastern hills, of Mt. Carmel to the south, and finally of the 
Cheshire and Southington region and the heights to the west. 
A prettily wooded bank with a streamlet at its foot follows 


the south side of the Southington road for part of the way ; 
and in other parts the road is bordered by the young growth 
of an old forest, which suggests the regret that some of the 
old trees were not left for shade. After passing two or three 
mill-ponds to the north of the road, another large enough to 
be called a lake, and none the less beautiful that it is 
artificial, is seen lying among the forests. Nearly all the way 
the Meriden mountains are in full sight, grand in all their 
varying aspects : first, the lofty South mountain, having its 
brow twice cleft near the middle, and rising on the west to a 
rounded top ; then the still higher West mountain, presenting 
to view, in succession, its long eastern line, the castellated 
middle peak, and, at last, the more elevated and broken 
western summit : the whole in appearance, and in reality, a 
mighty ruin, and old beyond all human reckoning. In many 
places along the mural fronts great columnar masses stand 
out, clinging only by a single side, owing to the fall of the 
rocks underneath, and appearing as if just ready to go crash- 
ing down the mountain. But they hold on firmly, for the 
work of destruction in these trappean structures is slow. 
The long slope which rises at a large angle to hundreds of 
feet, and bears far aloft the grand lines of battlements, is, to 
a great depth, made of the stones that have fallen from the 

"The ascending path commences along the south side of 
the middle of the two peaks, gradually bends around into the 
gorge that separates them, finally crosses this gorge over 
some of the immense fallen blocks that are strewn along its 
course, and thence turns southward toward the high western 
summit. The first part of the summit which comes in view 
is made up, at its lower portion in front, of small columns, 
hardly longer or larger than a man's leg, that are gradually 
falling apart and adding thus to the debris. This small- 
columnar structure characterizes many parts of the Meriden 
Hills, and, as a consequence, the long slopes of fallen frag- 
ments often consist of such pieces of rock some flat, but 


generally of various irregular, polygonal shapes. At the 
same time, there are no where about the Mericlen heights any 
large regular columns. This seems very remarkable, con- 
sidering the vast extent of the trap eruptions. But while 
large columns do not occur, much of the rock of the mount- 
ains is free from any distinct columnar structures, and breaks 
with broad vertical surfaces. 

"Just above the point referred to, and further on along 
the gorge, the trap stands up in long perpendicular walls 
arising from vertical courses of fracture. The immense 
blocks of trap that roughly pave the bottom of the gorge 
remind one who is familiar with the New Haven region of the 
great trap boulders on its eastern hills. They have the same 
fine-grained texture, are often tabular in form, and laminated 
in structure. They look as if they had come from some hori- 
zontally stratified bed ; but, as just explained, and as becomes 
apparent before reaching the top, the lamination of the trap 
is vertical instead of horizontal, and precisely similar to that 
so distinct in Pine Rock and at the eastern of the West Rock 
quarries. It is hardly possible for one geologically informed 
to pass along the gorge without querying whether some of 
those New Haven travelers did not take passage aboard the 
glacier from these Meriden heights. But the same structure 
and texture probably characterize the trap ridges throughout 
their extent northward, so that a positive answer as to the 
precise place of departure cannot be given. That it was 
somewhere along this western range between Meriden and Mount 
Tom is very probable. The evidence that they came from the 
more western of the ranges lies in the fact that they are asso- 
ciated in the western part of the New Haven region ( and 
but sparingly in the eastern) with blocks of gneiss and quartz 
rock that must have come from the adjoining country on the 
west, and were derived from the northern part of the State, or 
from the region farther north in Massachusetts or Vermont. 

"The view from the top of West mountain is remarkable 
rather for its wide panoramic range than for grandeur of 


detail. The same may be said generally of landscapes seen 
from the highest peak of any region, when this peak is much 
above the other summits in altitude : for the other mountains 
lose in elevation, and the lower hills are at times flattened 
out in seeming plains ; moreover the loftiest point is out of 
view, because the observer is upon it. Thus it is here ; but 
there is compensation as usual in the wider range of view, 
and the grander vistas over the plains and the receding hills 

" In the landscape before the eye, a wide undulated surface, 
seemingly almost a level plain, stretches from Berlin and 
Meriden, southward over Wallingford and North Haven, 
westward over Cheshire, and thence northward over Southing- 
ton into Bristol ; and the villages of these townships lie 
among great patches of forests, meadows and variously cul- 
tivated fields. On the east stands a long range of bold trap 
mountains, from Mount Lamentation (which is seen over the 
more eastern Hanging Hills) through Middletown or Higby's 
mountain, (stated to be 899 feet high), Beseck or South 
Middletown mountain, the Durham range with its Tremont 
peak (that with the three pointed top) to the Totoket moun- 
tain of North Branford and Saltonstall ridge in East Haven. 
The eye, glancing still southward, finally rests on the Sound, 
a strip of ocean dotted with sails, bounded by the low sea- 
barrier, Long Island. Mount Carmel, the " sleeping giant," 
lies recumbent just across the borders of Wallingford and 
Cheshire, the head of the giant bearing S. 18 degrees 
W. ; but it presents only its long back and slopes, looks 
heavy, and too heavily asleep to be aroused for the short 
move to the right that would open a view of New Haven. 
Over its flank, a part of the East Rock range may be seen, 
and more to the east and south a spire in Fair Haven, and 
the Light House on New Haven bay. 

"To the southwestward, as a counterpart to the trap 
mountains on the east there is the long West Rock Range. 
But a line of hills extending toward it from Mt. Carmel shuts 
out of view its more southern extension. Northward, as 


may be observed, it stretches on between Cheshire and Pros- 
pect, then bends a little eastward, and soon after loses itself 
in the open country west of the Meriden Heights ; for here 
the range terminates, about 17 miles from its commencement 
at Westville. Over and beyond these trap hills to the west 
and also to the northwest, lies the elevated Woodbridge 
plateau, a region of metamorphic rocks, attaining its greatest 
altitude in the towns of Prospect and Wolcott, and thence, 
declining toward Bristol. Still farther northwest, over Wol- 
cott and Bristol, there are the heights beyond the Naugatuck, 
and the yet more remote and but faintly discerned Taconic 
mountains of the Green mountain range. Among the sum- 
mits on the western horizon, one quite prominent, called 
Great Mountain, belongs to the country beyond the Housa- 
tonic in the vicinity of New Milford, not far from the State 

" Turning now to the northward, other trap hills come into 
view in a long range, terminating in Mt. Tom and Mt. Holy- 
oke. The nearer, with rampart western front, are the hills 
overlooking Southington and Farmington ; farther on is 
Talcott mountain, on the western border of the town of 
Hartford. The ridges of Simsbury and Granby rise beyond, 
but they are not separately distinguishable, as they are seen 
only in profile. Mt. Tom shows itself, over what appears to 
be a low western extension of Talcott mountain, as a round- 
topped peak, steepest on its western side. To the right is 
Mt. Holyoke (on the other side of the Connecticut); and 
still farther east are other summits of the Holyoke ridge. 
It is of interest here to remember what has already been 
stated, that these trap hills make one grand curving range, 
nearly 60 miles long, from West Mountain in Meriden to 
Mount Tom, and thence, bending easterly, to Mount Holyoke. 
"Many villages give life to the landscape. North of Meriden 
there are Berlin bearing northeast, New Britain, north-north- 
east, Kensington, Percival's birth-place, south of New Britain, 
N. 30 cleg. E. ; south of Meriden, Hanover or South Meri- 


den, near a large pond at the bend in the Quinnipiac bearing 
S. 15 deg. E., Yalesville more distant in nearly the same 
direction, and beyond Yalesville, the much larger village of 
Wallingford ; in the valley to the west, Bristol, bearing N. 
52 cleg. W., Southington, N. 30 deg. W. ; Cheshire, S. 30 deg. 
W. ; over the Woodbridge plateau, Wolcott, W. 32 deg. N., 
and Prospect, on the summit against the horizon, W. 30 deg. 
S. Lamentation mountain bears to the north of west ; and 
the riclge just south is properly a part of it ; Middletown or 
Higby's mountain lies a little to the south of east ; Tremont 
peak, the central peak of the Durham range, S. 30 cleg. E. ; 
and just below begins the Totoket mountain. Pistapaug 
mountain is behind the southern part of the Durham range. 
A low north-and-south sand ridge connects the Meriden 
Hills and Mt. Carmel and Whitney Peak. 

" The rock of the summit is fine-grained trap, or crust rock, 
as we have called it, while that of the front of the mountain, 
as may be observed on the way up, is coarse like the East 
Rock stone. (The crust rock is not so named because sepa- 
rable from that below, but from its being the original exterior 
of the ejected trap, as proved by its fine texture.) The 
presence of the crust rock at the top shows that but little of 
the height of the ridge was worn away by the old glacier 
as it moved over these summits. In fact, nothing else could 
be expected ; for along this meridian there was probably a 
few stones in the ice at a level high enough to over-ride 
or abrade the summit. There are no peaks in the valley 
to the north as high as this Meriden mountain, either in 
Connecticut or Massachusetts, except Mount Tom and 
Mount Holyoke ; and stones taken from lower heights would 
not have, risen in the glacier, against gravity, to a higher 
level except through a combination of circumstances in the 
slopes that should favor an up-hill push of the ice for a 
limited distance ; and the circumstances about this West 
mountain do not appear to have been favorable for an up- 
ward movement of this kind. The Mount Tom boulders 


would have made a narrow line, and would have had but 
little chance of leaving their mark or much of their freight, 
on this high Meriden Station. Whatever stones there were 
must have come from the higher mountains of Vermont or 
New Hampshire. The movement of the glacier over the 
central parts of the Connecticut valley was to the south, or 
a little west of south. The course of the scratches is south, 
according to Prof. Hitchcock, on Monadnoc, N. H., on 
Holyoke, and Tom, and at Deerfield, and Greenfield, and 
other places in the valley in Massachusetts. According to 
Percival, it is S. S. W., just east of the Hanging Hills, 
and north of Meriden. It is south, in a gorge on Mount 
Carmel, and S. 10 cleg. W., to S. 14 deg. W., over the 
ledges of the sandstone, east of New Haven. 

" Over the bare trap surface of the summit, there are 
slightly raised lines dividing it into polygonal areas, which 
indicate that the rock beneath has a somewhat columnar 
structure. These line are prominent because of the greater 
hardness of the rock along them, the intervening surface 
yielding most easily to the elements. This hardness is due 
to the filling .of thin fissures with silica or some siliceous 
mineral ; and the fissures were a result of the contraction 
of the rock at the time of its original cooling. 

"The long lines of fracture or open seams which inter- 
sect the surface are the courses of the jointi, on which the 
laminated character of the rock (or its tendency to break 
into slabs and tabular masses) depends. 


" On the return to Meriden, an interesting excursion may 
be made by taking the road to "The Notch," between 
West mountain and South Mountain. For the purpose of 
supplying the city of Meriden with water, work is now 
going forward that will soon place a lake, a mile in length 
in this gorge. The reservoir will have an area of 77 1-2 
acres, and derives its waters from the drainage of the various 
declivities. When the arrangements are completed, the quiet 


lake, lying amid forests in this mountain defile, overlooked 
by and reflecting the grand old walls that crown the heights, 
will make a scene of beauty unsurpassed in this Meriden 

"Another excursion of great attractions may be taken over 
the Kensington road to the long, narrow Cat-Hole gap or 
pass, between South mountain and the Cat-Hole mountain. 
On the way toward the valley the high battlemented South 
mountain comes into view, almost in front, and makes a ma- 
jestic sweep around toward the entrance ; it thence continues 
as the western side of the valley with gradually decreased 
boldness and height. Soon after, there appears on the east 
a time-worn mural summit of Cat-Hole mountain, and just 
beyond, a second still bolder front, rising erect above the 
steep slopes ; fancy finds a profile of Washington in the out- 
line from one point of view. Farther on in the valley other 
vertical rocks are described, though mostly concealed by 
foliage. The mountain is cut obliquely by gorges, and hence 
its succession of summits. The slopes of fallen stones, that 
descend on either side from the heights far above through 
most of the valley, originally met at the bottom, where many 
of the large masses lay piled together ; and the pass, some- 
what difficult under nature's rough macadamizing, then 
merited its name. There is now an excellent road through it. 
Many crevices or breaks occur in the high walls of Cat Hole 
mountain, along some of which the heights may be scaled. 
The view from the more southern summit, over the Meriden 
region and the far-away plains and hills, the Sound, and Long 
Island, is exceedingly fine. 

" The Kensington road, before reaching Cat-Hole gap, 
passes a gateway on the left, which is the entrance to the 
Poor House grounds, and through these to the " Cold Spring 
gorge," another place of great interest, situated just under 
the lofty front of South mountain. The path along the gorge 
continues northward, and finally enters Cat-Hole pass. The 
bottom of the gorge is still in the condition which charac- 

6 4 


terized Cat-Hole gap before its civilizing improvements, but 
is probably beyond that in the grandeur of its mountain 
ruins. Enormous blocks of trap, like houses in magnitude? 
lie in confusion together, enclosing narrow passages, and 
numerous dark recesses which may well have been the dens 
of catamounts and panthers in aboriginal times. There are 
also shady ways and rock retreats, beautiful with their moss- 
covered walls, shelves of ferns or flowers, and overshadowing 
trees, which may give much enjoyment in the exploration. 

" The grand pile of rocks at the bottom derived from the 
heights above, the long steep slope of fallen fragments down 
which they made their descent, and the mural heights almost 
overhead seemingly ready for other avalanches, produce an 
impression of power and sublimity that is seldom an effect of 
simply motionless rocks. But here every object in the 
scene suggests motion and violence, terrific in kind and 
degree. Yet the blocks, gray and green with the vegetation 
over them, look as if they had lain quietly in their places for 
ages. The work of destruction above is, however, going 
slowly forward, and though a long period may intervene, other 
descents are sure to occur. A long, one storied stone house 
stands just within the entrance of the gorge, which is made 
of sticks, or more properly, small columnar pieces, three to 
four feet long, of trap, and so laid that the ends project very 
unequally. The queer porcupine-structure, now a dwelling- 
house, was erected for a ten-pin alley, as an appendage to the 
" Cold Spring House" (a Water Cure establishment that 
formerly occupied what is now the Poor House). If it does 
not, in the meantime, go to pieces by "natural decay, it may 
yet feel the weight of one of the descending looo-ton masses. 
Should this happen, a strike would be made beyond any 
former experience of the ten-pin alley. 

" Cold Spring gorge has long been famous for its cold 

waters, as its name implies. In one of the dark cavities 

among the fallen masses of trap, ice usually keeps the year 

around, the shade and shelter making the spot a natural ice- 



house. Professor Silliman gives one of the earliest published 
accounts of it in vol. iv, p. 17, of the American Journal of 
Science, after a visit on July 23, 1821. He carried with him 
to New Haven, a mass of the ice weighing several pounds." 

The following is Prof. Silliman's article referred to 
above : 



[From the "American Journal of Science," Oct., 1821.] 

" That ice is perpetual in some climates is notorious. That 
it is so even in those of the torrid zone, upon mountains which 
rise to the height of three miles, is also well known. It is 
however a rare occurrence, even in cold climates, that ice is 
perennial on ground which possesses no more than the 
common elevation. 

" An instance of this kind has however recently come to our 
knowledge, and appears worthy of a brief notice. It exists in 
the state of Connecticut, in the township of Mericlen mid- 
way between Hartford and New Haven. This natural Ice- 
House 1 is situated in above 42 degrees of north latitude, 
nearly twenty miles from the sea and at the elevation of 
probably no more than two hundred feet above its level. 

"The country is a part of the secondary trap region of 
Connecticut, 2 and is marked by numerous distinct ridges of 
green stone, which present lofty mural precipices, and from 

" i A convenient point of departure to visit this natural Ice House is 
from the Inn of Dr. Isaac Hough in Meriden. This Inn is the usual 
dining place between New Haven and Hartford, and the very intelligent 
and respectable man by whom it is kept, will cheerfully direct the enquir- 
ing traveller, or furnish him with a guide. The distance is not over two 
miles from Meriden Meeting-house. There is also, near the same place a 
wild, romantic pass through the Gorge of the mountain which is well 
worth seeing ; it is known in the vicinity by the ludicrous name of the 
Cat Hole." 

"2 A sketch of which is given in the Tour between Hartford and 
Quebec, page 27." 


their number, contiguity, and parallelism, they often form 
narrow precipitous defiles, filled more or less with fragments 
of rocks of various sizes, from that of a hand-stone to that of 
a cottage. The fragments are the detritus or debris of these 
mountains, and every one in the least acquainted with such 
countries, knows how much they always abound with similar 

" In such a defile the natural Ice House in question is 
situated. On the south-western side, there is a trap ridge of 
naked perpendicular rock, which, with the sloping ruins at the 
base, appears to be four hundred feet high ; the parallel ridge 
which forms the other side of the defile, is probably not over 
forty feet high, but it rises abruptly on the eastern side, and 
is covered by other wood, which occupies the narrow valley 
also. This valley is moreover choked, in an astonishing 
degree, with the ruins of the contiguous mountain ridge, and 
exhibits many fragments of rock which would fill a large 
room. As the defile is very narrow, these fragments have, in 
their fall, been arrested here by the low parallel ridge, and 
are piled on one another in vast confusion, forming a series 
of cavities which are situated among and under the rocks. 
Many of them have reposed there for ages, as appears from 
the fact that small trees (the largest that the scanty soil, 
accumulated by revolving centuries can support), are now 
growing on some of the fragments of rock. Leaves also and 
other vegetable ruins have accumulated among the rocks and 
trees, and choked the mouths of many of the cavities among 
the ruins. This defile, thus narrow, and thus occupied by 
forest, and by rocky ruins, runs nearly N. and S., and is 
completely impervious to the sun's rays except when he is 
near the meridian. Then indeed for an hour, he looks into 
this secluded valley, but the trees and the rocks and the thick 
beds of leaves scarcely permit his beams to make the slight- 
est impression. 

" It is in the cavities beneath the masses of rocks already 
described, that the ice is formed. The ground descends a 


little to the south, and a small brook appears to have formed 
a channel among the rocks. The ice is thick and well con- 
solidated, and its gradual melting, in the warm season, causes 
a stream of ice-cold water to issue from this defile. This 
fact has been known to the people of the vicinity for several 
generations, and the youth have, since the middle of the last 
century, been accustomed to resort to this place, in parties, 
for recreation, and to drink the waters of the cold-flowing 

" It was on the 23d of last July, in the afternoon of a very 
hot day, when the thermometer was probably as high as 85 
deg. of Farh., that under the guidance of Dr. Hough, we 
entered this valley. After arriving among the trees, and in 
the immediate vicinity of the ice, there was an evident chilli- 
ness in the air, and very near the ice ; it was (compared 
with the hot atmosphere which we had just left), rather 
uncomfortably cold. The ice was only partially visible, being 
covered by leaves, and screened from view, by the rocks ; but 
a boy, descending with a hatchet, soon brought up large firm 
masses. One of these, weighing several pounds, we carried 
twenty miles to New Haven, where it was exhibited to vari- 
ous persons, and some of it remained unmelted during two 
succeeding nights ; for it was in being on the morning of the 
third day. 

" The local circmstances which have been detailed will 
probably account for this remarkable locality of ice, and 
scarcely need any illustration or comment. 

" This is not the only instance of the kind existing among 
the trap rocks of Connecticut. There is a similar place seven 
miles from New Haven, near the Middletown road, in the 
parish of Northford, and township of Branford. The ice 
here also (as we are assured) endures the year round. This 
place we have not visited, but we are informed that it is at 
the bottom, or on the declivity of a trap ridge. Several years 
ago, we had the ice of this place brought to us, into New 
Haven, in the hotter weather of mid-summer. Like that of 

fy i 


Meriden, it is very solid ; but like that also it is soiled with 
leaves and dirt, and although it is unfit to be put into liquids 
which are to be swallowed, it is as any ice for mere cooling. 

" These instances naturally induce the impression that 
other natural ice houses may exist in various parts of the 
trap region of Connecticut, and of Massachusetts, and very 
possibly in other districts, abounding with precipitous, rocky 
and woody defiles, although the geological formation may not 
be the same. We should be obliged by any information 
respecting similar facts existing elsewhere. 

" It is perhaps worthy of being mentioned in this connection 
that an artificial ice house within the knowledge of the writer, 
is situated on the top of a ridge of trap in Connecticut. The 
excavation was made, simply by removing the loose pieces of 
trap rock which are here piled in enormous quantities, but 
composed of fragments of very small size. These loose 
pieces of stone with the air in the cavities are better non- 
conductors of heat than the ground which usually surrounds 
ice houses, for the ice keeps remarkably well in this elevated 
ice house. Perhaps this will aid us in ^-explaining the phe- 
nomena of the natural ice houses that have been mentioned." 




IN the year 1669, the question was first agitated of 
making a settlement at Wallingford, 1 and measures were 
adopted towards effecting it ; but on account of the 
Indians, the undertaking was of great peril, and was 
deferred until 1670. At that time Hartford and New 
Haven had been settled about thirty-five years, and the 
whole population within the territory now called Con- 
necticut was about ten thousand. Making a new 
settlement was quite a formidable undertaking. The 
Indians, though kind, were kind only from motives of 
interest or fear. How long they would remain so, was a 
question asked doubtingly, and answered by an appre- 
hensive glance of the eye. Wolves, in thousands, 
infested the new settlements. They killed the cattle, 

I It is evident that as early as 1667, some of the inhabitants of New 
Haven had become acquainted with the country in and about Wallingford, 
and no doubt settlements by some adventurers had been made within the 
bounds of the town; but it was not until 1669, that the people of New 
Haven took hold of the matter. It appears that Abraham Doolittle and 
John Peck were on the ground in 1668, and John Moss and John Brockett 
in the autumn of 1669, which fact was undoubtedly the cause of their being 
selected as a committee to superintend and manage the affairs of the new 
village ; but it was not until the month of April, 1670, that the first per- 
manent settlement at Wallingford was made. 


they stole and carried off the sheep, and did what they 
could by their unearthly howlings at night, to add to the 
horrors that thickened on the skirts of the wilderness. 
The moose, the deer and the bear, roamed at will 
through the unbroken wilderness. 

It was absolutely necessary that the settlers should 
turn the wilderness into gardens and fields ; that they 
should plant and cultivate the earth, to keep them from 
starvation. It was necessary to erect and fortify houses, 
and to make preparations for the feeding and covering 
of their cattle. It was of equal importance to the 
planters, not only to make roads for their particular 
convenience, but from town to town ; that, in any emer- 
gency, they might fly immediately to each other's relief. 
But they were willing to work ; they had abandoned 
their estates, their families, and their country, for the 
obtainment of peace and freedom ; and they themselves 
were ready to traverse the vast wilderness of an unex- 
plored continent, rather than submit to that moral 
degradation which can alone satisfy the capriciousness 
of despotism. When once they had put their shoulders 
to the wheel they never looked back. The grim present 
was lowering upon them with all its sharp and angular 
realities. Indians, wild beasts, famine, cold, the diseases 
that lurk along the borders of new settlements, " the 
French, the Dutch, the devil," and all other calamities, 
actual and imaginary, that kept their faculties constantly 
stretched to the highest tension, gave them no time to 
look backward. Other men retreated from the world to 
avoid its cares ; they fled to the solitude of nature to 
begin life anew. 

It has already been stated that the original settlers of 
New Haven in their corporate capacity, owned the whole 


tract of land from the Sound up to West Meriden, which 
tract was about twenty miles long and ten broad. But 
when the increase of population seemed to render it 
necessary to push settlements farther into the interior 
upon the unoccupied lands, they did not sell out farms 
to such individuals as chose to buy, and allow matters of 
this kind to take what we should perhaps call the natural 
course. They proceeded in a much more orderly man- 
ner. The people of New Haven, in their corporate 
capacity and in public meeting, voted to set off a certain 
portion of their territory to constitute a " village " or 
plantation. And the General Assembly held at Hart- 
ford, October 10, 1667, passed the following resolution: 

" Vpon the motion of the deputies of New Haven, this 
Court grants the towne of New Haven liberty to make a vil- 
lage on the east River, if they see it capable for such a thing, 
provided they setle a village there within fower yeares from 
May next." 

At a Court of Election held at Hartford, May 12, 1670, 
the following confirmation or grant was made by the 
State to the town of Wallingford, of that territory pre- 
viously assigned and set off to them by the action of 
the town of New Haven : 

" This Court haveing been moved to state the bownds of 
the New Village that is settled upon the playne as you goe to 
New Haven, doe grant that their bownds shall com from the 
Brook at the south end of the great playne, to the northward 
tenn miles, and from the said [Brook] sowthward to Brand- 
ford bownds, and on each side the' river five miles, that is five 
miles on the east side and five miles on the west side the 
River, provided that the sayd village be carryed on and made 
a plantation w th out any relation or subordination to any 
other towne, and provided the bownds hereby granted to the 
sayd village doe not prejudice any bownds formerly granted 


to any plantation or perticuler person, or doe not extend to 
the north any further than wh[ere] the old road to New 
Haven goeth over Pilgrimes Harbour." 

At the same meeting the " Court ordered that the 
plantation on the playne in the road to New Haven, 
be called Wallingford." 1 Permission having been granted 
by the general Court to lay out a village upon the plain, 
it was necessary to lay out the boundary lines, which 
seemed to occasion considerable trouble. On the 28th 
of the ist month, 1673, it was agreed, 

" i. by the committee for NewHaven underwritt that Wall- 
ingford Bownd* on the east side of the east River shall be 
from Brandford line Northerlie to whortons brooke where it 
crosseth the north Branch, of the S'd Brooke and thence at 
the brooke Runne into the east River. 2. that New Haven 
shall runn two miles and a halfe Northward from the Foot of 
the blew Hills on the milk River upon that River, and the 
line from a Stake there to the foote of the blew Hills on the 
east River and from the Sayd Two mile and halfe Stake 
along our reare west and by north to the ends of their 
Bownds, which issue they the committee for wallingford con- 
sented too and accepted, and this to be a issue in love and 
peace, memorandum that the committee for New Haven doe 
consent that the Meadow between the mill River and east 
river northward above the blue Hills shall be Wallingford, as 
to the Bulk of it and Liberty of draweing it as they shall see 
cause an though the line agreed too should cutt through it. 

Subscribed by the Sd parties. 



I The town was incorporated eight years after the State received its 
charter, and five years after the union of Connecticut with New Haven 
Colony. There are only fifteen towns in the State older than Wallingford. 





"The mark of JOHN |Q COWPER SEN., to the agreament 

excepting the memorandum acled about y c meadow wherein 

he objects." 

The next year a committee of two were appointed 
from New Haven to lay out the bounds of the new vil- 
lage, as we learn from the following entry on the Wall- 
ingford town records : 

" We whose names are under written being appointed to 
lay out the bounds of Wallingford According to the generall 
courts grant we did Runn from the East River comonly called 
new Haven River upon an east and by South line five miles ; 
very nere pishatipague ponds, and from there upon a North 
and by east line untill it meets with Middletowne South 
bownds ; and on East and by South line till it meets with 
middletowne west bownds ; and on the west side Newhaven 
river upon a west and by north line seven miles, as witness 
our hands this Sixth day of November 1674. 


The town of New Haven next appointed a committee, 
vested with power to manage the affairs of the settle- 
ment. This committee held the land in trust, and acted 
as trustees in all the affairs of the town ; they not only 
attended to the temporal, but the spiritual affairs of the 
people ; and the undertakers and all the succeeding 
planters were obliged to subscribe to the following en- 
gagement : 

I In 1701 the boundary line was run between the town of Wallingford 
and the town of Durham, or Coginchaug. The Wallingford committee 
were Thomas Holt and John Merriman. 


" He or they shall not by any means disturb the church, 
when settled there, in the choice of minister or ministers, or 
other church officers, or in any of their other church rights, 
liberties or administrations, nor shall withdraw due mainte- 
nance from such ministry." 

" This shows" says Trumbull, " how strongly the 
churches in this part of the colony were, at that time, 
opposed to towns and parishes having any thing to do in 
the choice of a minister, or in church affairs." It was 
voted in January, 1672, 

" That in due time there shall bee some care taken to 
submitt every planter what quantity of land he shall have 
propriety in and pay Rates for, and that the limitation be 
made by the major part of the town and the committee 
appoynted for the receaving of Planters and that the planters 
that shall hereafter be receaved shall be accommodated as the 
major part of the town and the committee shall see cause." 

In May, 1782, the trustees resigned their trust to the 

The town of Wallingford having been thus inaugu- 
rated, several families removed from New Haven to the 
new plantation. We also find new settlers whose names 
are not on the New Haven records : persons who came 
from adjoining settlements. The next year a number of 
families came from Boston, probably new emigrants 
from England, as their names are not mentioned as free- 
men or land holders in the early Massachusetts records. 
The committee received applications from such as chose 
to commence a new settlement, and selected those who 
in their opinion were best qualified for the work. The 
persons thus selected, mutually covenanted with each 
other and with the said committee to observe certain 


rules and conditions in the following written agreement, 
to which their signatures were affixed : 

jist nth month, 1669. 

"i. The Committee do consent to put the said village de- 
signe into y e hands of a competent number of persons fitly 
qualified for that work, provided, they reasonably appear and 
engage to undertake y e same upon theire articles and further 
shall appoint some fit persons of y said number to be a com- 
mittee with full power to manage their plantation affairs, until 
the place come to be an orderly establishment within itself. 

" 2. For y e safety and well being of church affairs, for y 
Ministry and maintainance, the committee do order y l y c s'd 
undertakers and successors, before (they are) admitted shall 
subscribe to the following engagement, Vide He, or they, as 
afs'd shall not by any means Disturb y e church when settled 
there, in their choice of Minister or Ministers, or other ch'h 
officers or in any of their Ch'h Rights, Liberties, or admin- 
istrations, nor shall refuse nor withdraw due maintainance from 
such Ministry and until such Ch'h be settled, shall submit to 
such order as y e said committee shall make, for a Godly Min- 
ister to dispence y e word of God among them. 

"3. That the said Committee to be appointed and their 
successors, in receiving of Planters, shall have due respect 
to New Haven persons, being fit and offering themselves, so 
far as it can consist with the good of the place and capacity 

'' 4. Lastly. These articles being accepted, the s'd com- 
pany and all others admitted planters among them, shall 
enjoy their accommodations and Lands, without payment of 
purchase money to New Haven : to themselves, their heirs, 
successors and assigns, forever, so far as concerns New Haven 
town's purchase within the village bounds, the said town of 
New Haven consenting there unto. And we do nominate, 
Mr. Samuel Street, John Moss, John Brockett and Abraham 
Doolittle to be a committee whom we hereby impower to 


manage all plantation affairs in y e said village according to, 
and in pursuance of the above written articles, and to see the 
same attended and performed by the planters, either, are or 
shall be by them the said committe, and also for to disposal 
and distribution of allotments in some such equal way as 
shall best suit the condition of the place and y e inhabitants 
thereof, and to use their best means, they can for procure- 
ment of some able and fit man to dispense the word of God 
among them, and lastly, we do impower them, the above- 
named committee to make choice of such other fit persons 
into the exercise of their power and trust with themselves, for 
their assistance, if any such shall appear among them, and 
the major part of the said committee, hereby appointed or 
intended, have full power to act in all the premises, as they 
shall see cause, in pursuance of the said articles and under- 
takings. In testimony whereof, and to all the said articles 
and premises, we, the committee appointed by New Haven, 
thereunto, have set to our hands. 




The following is the covenant or original agreement 
of the first planters at Wallingford : 

" We whose names are underwritten, being accepted by the 
Committee of New Haven, for y e intended Village as planters, 
and desiring that the worship and ordinances of God may in 
due time, be set up, and encouraged among us, as the main 
concernment of a Christian people, doe sincerely and in the 
fear of God, promise and engage ourselves that we shall not 
neither directly nor indirectly, do anything to hinder or 
obstruct any good means that shall be used by the said 
committee, or others intrusted by them, to promote the prem- 
ises, by securing a Godly and able ministry among us to 
dispense to us the word of God, and when such ministry, or 


a Church of Christ shall be settled among us, we engage by 
no means to disturb the same in their choice of a minister or 
ministers or other ch'h officers, or in, any other of their ch'h 
rights, liberties, or administrations, nor shall refuse or with- 
draw due maintenance from such minister or ministry, and 
farther we doe engage ourselves peaceably to submit to such 
settlement, and Civil order as the said committee shall direct 
among us either by themselves, or some others as a committee 
by them appointed, upon the place, untill the said village 
come to be an orderly establishment within itself, and lastly 
we doe engage personally to settle upon the place, by May 
next, come twelve month, if God's providence inevitably hin- 
der not, and to observe and perform all and every the other 
articles agreed upon. 













The committee then proceeded to select a site for the 
proposed village, which location is described as being 
" upon the hill, on the east side of the great plain com- 
monly called New Haven plain," which will be at once 
recognized as the spot on which the present borough of 
Wallingford stands. They then allotted to each planter 
a few acres of land for a building spot and a house lot, 


" beginning at the southeast of said hill." Having laid 
out the south part of the village, then 

" Next to the aforesaid house lots it is ordered that there 
shall be a highway crosse the hill, from east to west of six 
rods broade, 1 and from thence a long highway of six rods 
broade on the top of the hill to run northward'^ and on each 
side of itt to ranges of house lotts of six acres to a lott ; and 
these lotts to be distributed." 

The settlement was commenced at the south end of 
the present Main street, on the east side or slope of the 
hill. The main street having been laid out, at the north 
end a cross street was laid out from the old colony road 
over to Wharton's brook ; being the road now running 
past the house of Mrs. Harley Morse, and south of the 
residence of Mr. Peter Whittelsey. Afterwards the 
main street was continued to where the Congregational 
church now stands, when another cross street was laid 
out ; then the main street was continued north to the 
old Peck place, and a cross street laid out to Wharton's 
brook ; continuing the main street to the old Rice place, 
a cross street was laid out, and the main street was con- 
tinued to the top of the town hill, and another cross 
street was laid out to Wharton's brook. Probably about 
this time the street called the lower street was laid out. 
These several streets or highways were all laid out six 
rods wide, and on each side of the highway were the 
house lots of six acres each. 

After the planters had received their respective allot- 
ments, built their houses, and had assumed the form of a 
regular and settled community, then the committee who 

1 Being the road now leading from the railroad by the Congregational 
Church, to the main street. 

2 Being the north part of the present main street of Wallingford. 


had arranged all the preliminaries and incipient stages 
of the new plantation, surrendered all their power, and 
the title to the whole territory, into the hands of the 
planters, who thereby became a corporate body ; in 
other words, a town. The lands within the town limits 
became thus the property of the town as a corporate 
body ; to be by them disposed of in such ways and to 
such persons as they might deem fit. It was voted that 
those who held house lots in the town, and were not 
residents upon the place, and did not pay their rates 
within one month after demand, were to forfeit the lots. 

" That not any man shall have power to sell by accommo- 
dation to another man and leave the town until hee have 
dwelt upon itt 3 years, and after 3 years he may sell or 
alienate itt to any such as the town shall approve of. That 
every man shall have propriety in the timber or trees in each 
highway that lieth within 3 rodds of his house lott." 

One of their first acts was the allotment of certain 
portions of meadow and woodland to each planter at 
convenient distances from the village ; which appropria- 
tion constituted the farms and private property of such 
individuals respectively. The land lying on the river as 
best adapted to their purposes was first used, and de- 
scribed as 

" lotts on the river called, New Haven east river, that are 
layed out to severall of the inhabitants as meddow land. 
They are to begin at the end of the hill called Blew hill, where 
it comes to the river, and so to run upward the river." 

At this first apportionment of land, thirty-eight lots 
were given out to as many individuals or families ; some 
receiving eight and some twelve acres. 1 

i " The said lots are to run close ye river and taking in ye land on 


In these various transfers of the land, from the town 
of New Haven to the Committee, thence to the associ- 
ted planters, and ultimately to individual proprietors, no 
money or consideration of any kind was paid. The land 
was worth literally, nothing, until actually settled and 
cleared. From time to time as families became larger, 
and individuals became able to bring more land under 
cultivation, additional allotments were made by town 
vote, to each planter. At various times there were 
"divisions" in this manner made, until the .whole terri- 
tory was occupied. In arranging these divisions, the 
whole population was classed into three " ranks," as 
indicated in the following vote, according to their ability 
to pay taxes. In all assessments, the first rank paid 
double the amount of tax charged on the "loest rank," 
and one-third more than the middle rank ; and in the 

both sides and bounded according to the judgment of the surveyors, and 
by order of the committee. 

JOHN MILES, 12 acres, BENJAMIN LEWIS, 8 acres, 


NATHL. How, 8 " JOHN BROCKETT, senr., 12 " 



12 " 12 " 






MR. JOHN HARRIMAN, 12 " JOHN Moss, 12 " 









divisions of land the allotments were made out in the 
same ratio, as appears by this and similar votes. In 
June, 1673, voted, 

"That there shall be alowed for the first division of lands 
to each planter taking in house lotts, river lotts, and all sorts 
of land, to the loest ranke 40 acres ; to the middle ranke, 60 
acres, and to the hiest ranke, 80 acres, and so to keep for the 

It would naturally occur that after the settlement was 
commenced, other individuals in addition to the original 
planters would desire to become residents in the town. 
Such an one was not expected, nor even allowed to buy 
any wild land. He was to make application to the 
town, both for permission to live in the town, and for a 
gratuitous allotment of land. The town in public meet- 
ing considered such a request and referred it to a com- 
mittee for consideration. That committee after examin- 
ing the testimonials which the applicant could produce 
touching his character, recommended a compliance with 
his request, if such testimonials were satisfactory. In 
the New Haven Colony Laws for 1656, we find 

"That none shall be admitted Freemen or free Burgesses 
within this Jurisdiction, or any part of it, but such Planters 
as are Members of some one, or other of the approved 
Churches of New England." 


" It is ordered, That no single person of either Sex, do 
henceforward board, diet, or Sojourn, or be permitted so to 
do, or to have lodging, or house room within any of the 
Plantations of this Jurisdiction, but either in some allowed 
Relation, or in some approved Family licensed thereunto, by 
the court, or by a Magistrate, or some Officer or Officers 
in that Plantation, appointed thereunto, where there is no 


Also that the head of the family should 

" Duly observe the course, carriage, and behaviour, of every 
such single person, whether he, or she, walk dilligently in a 
constant lawful imployment. " 

We find in the records many votes similar to the 
following : 

" 1 2th Feb. 1671. Agreed by y f Comitee for y Towne of 
Wallingford that I sack Rise, and Nehimiah Rise, shall have 
lotts granted y m provided they procure sufficient testamony of 
theyr good conversation in the place whear they formerly 

lived None shall come to dwell as planters in this 

towne with out there concent and allowence, whether they 
come in by purchase or otherwise." 

So careful were they in guarding the character of 
their new settlement, that even the land which was 
appropriated to individuals as their private property, was 
held under this condition, that no sale was to be made 
to any stranger, until the character of the proposed pur- 
chaser had also been examined and approved by the 
town, and leave granted by express vote of the town, 
for such transfer of land. Thus we find on the town 
records frequent entries like the following : 

"236. Feb. 1677. The towne gave liberty to Nath'l 
Hickock to sell his accommodation to any such men as y e 
towne shall approve of." "aoth Oct. 1674, voted that Good" 
Foote shall have liberty to buy the lott, y l is Joseph Eives 
provided he procure sufficient testimony of his good conver- 
sation in y c plase where he now pretendeth to remove." 

Next January, we find 

" The teastimony for Good" foote being sevesente and axep- 
ted, he was admitted a planter upon the lott IB^^as Joseph 
eives." "Dec. 20, 1679. The towne Receaved Jo Brooks a 


planter ot y e loer Ranks provided he bring suficient testimony 
of his good Conversation in y e place wheare he formerly 
lived and come next spring to live heare if in suitable provi- 
dence hinder not." 

Not only were those who wished to become perma- 
nent residents, necessitated to make application to the 
town, before they could receive an allotment of the 
public land, or be allowed to buy out a previous settler, 
but even temporary residents must obtain permission to 
sojourn for a time within the town limits. For we find 
on the records votes similar to the one here copied : 
"Sep. 1678. The towne gave liberty to Isack Curtice 
to abide in the town as a sojourner." This Isaac Curtis 
was from Hartford, and was visiting his son, who was 
among the first planters of the town. In 1698, the con- 
stables of Wallingford were ordered to take and convey 
Isaac Johnson, ( Fenson ?) and his wife out of the town. 
It does not appear for what crime this summary act was 
to be enforced, nor does it appear that the order was 
carried into effect. In the month of December follow- 
ing, he was accepted by the town as an inhabitant. 
Notwithstanding their strictness, black sheep sometimes 
got into the flock, as we find from numerous entries in 
the town records. It is amusing at the present day to 
read their old records, and to see to what extent they 
carried things in those days. They not only interfered 
with private rights, but held an espionage over household 
matters, entirely different from the actions of the first 
emigrants who settled at New Haven. 

In fact, the planters who now began to settle in differ- 
ent parts of the State, were an entirely different class 
from the ejAWlymouth colony : no code of " blue laws" 
were ever enacted by the Pilgrims, but their legislation 


was statesmanlike, just and liberal. Yet, without doubt 
many of the laws which have come down to us, and are 
familiarly known as " blue laws," are forgeries concocted 
by some person who wished to show the Puritans in as 
bad a light as possible. We can never forget the ex- 
ample and benefits they have conferred upon us. We 
are indebted to them for our laws and our liberties, and 
during all their trials and hardships, they never forgot 
their religion, which seemed to be the principal object 
for which they lived. How appropriately can we apply 
the language of Kingsley : " Standing upon the accumu- 
lated labours of years, we are apt to be ungrateful to 
those who, with weary labour, and often working through 
dark and weary nights, built up the platform which now 
supports us. We complain impatiently of the blindness 
of many a man's doctrine, who was only incomplete, 
because he was still engaged in searching for some truth 
which, when found, he handed on as a precious heir- 
loom to us who know him not." 1 

The following are the names of the original proprie- 
tors of Wallingford : 









i Preface to the Sermons of Taulerus. 






i Of the original purchasers of Wallingford, John Brockett died March 
12, 1690, ae. 80 years ; Abraham Doolittle died August n, 1690, ae. 70 
years ; Nathaniel Merriman died February 13, 1694, ae. 80 years ; John 
Moss died 1770, x. 103 years. These with Mr. Street, ae. 82 (the five 
purchasers of the town), computing their ages together, make 415 years, 
or 83 years for each. 



IN the spring of 1670, when the emigrants commenced 
their settlement on the land now occupied by the town 
of Wallingford, the whole population of the State was 
about 10,000, and settlements had been commenced in 
Hartford, Wethersfield, Windsor, Farmington, Saybrook, 
Middletown, Lyme, Milford, Guilford, Fair field, Nor- 
walk, Stamford, New Haven, New London, Norwich, 
Branford, Greenwich, and Haddam. The rest of the 
State was a wilderness inhabited by Indians. But fifty 
years had elapsed since the little band of pilgrims had 
landed from the Mayflower on the rock at Plymouth, 
which has since been so celebrated in song and story. 

In England the past sixty years had been teeming 
with events of the most momentous consideration in 
their bearing upon the future destinies of mankind. 
The first quarter of the century had been occupied by 
the bigot king, James Stuart. On the day of his acces- 
sion then did the great British monarchy descend from 
the rank which it had hitherto held, and during many 
years under four successive princes of the house of. Stu- 
art, was scarcely a more important member of the Euro- 
pean system than the little kingdom of Scotland had 
previously been. Cromwell was no more ; and those 
who had fled before him were forced to content themselves 


with the miserable satisfaction of digging up, hanging, 
quartering, and burning the remains of the greatest 
prince that has ever ruled England. Then after the 
imbecile protectorate of Richard, came the long desired 
restoration. No wonder, that amid such convulsions at 
home, the English government should have lost sight of 
that handful of men who, under the shade of the mighty 
forest trees, stole away from the provincial government 
at Boston, and set up a new jurisdiction for themselves 
in the wilds of Connecticut. But the restoration of 
1660, which brought tranquility to England, enabled the 
king to look abroad, and reflect upon the growing impor- 
tance of Connecticut. 

In the midst of dangers, with the Dutch on one side, 
the Indians on the other, and the powerful colony of 
Massachusetts not far off, the General Court of Con- 
necticut determined to make a formal avowal of their 
allegiance to the crown, and apply for a charter. It is 
not likely that the framers of the constitution of 1639 
ever entertained the idea of maintaining a government 
independent of the crown, but they had wisely kept 
themselves in abeyance for the time when England, 
bowed down by her calamities, could no longer stretch 
her shortened sceptre across three thousand miles of 

On the 23d of April, 1662, letters patent under the 
great seal received the royal signature, giving to the 
petitioners the most ample privileges. By this patent, 
the patentees, 1 together with all the other freemen of 

i The names of the patentees in the charter were John Winthrop, 
John Mason, Samuel Wyllys, Henry Clarke, Mathew Allen, John Tap- 
ping, Nathan Gold, Richard Treat, Richard Lord, Henry Wolcott, John 
Talcott, Daniel Clarke, John Ogden, Thomas Wells, Obadiah Bruen, 
John Clarke, Anthony Hawkins, John Deming and Matthew Canfield. 


Connecticut then existing, or who might afterwards be 
admitted electors or freemen to the end of time, were 
given the irrevocable privileges of being " one body cor- 
porate and politic in fact and name, by the name of the 
governor and company of the English colony of Connec- 
ticut in New England in America, and that by the same 
name they and their successors, should have perpetual 
succession." By these letters patent they are made 
persons in law, may plead and be impleaded, defend and 
be defended, in all suits whatsoever ; may purchase, 
possess, lease, grant, demise and sell, lands, tenements 
and goods in the same unrestricted manner as any of the 
king's subjects or corporations in England. They are 
annually to hold two general assemblies one on the 
second Thursday in May, and the other on the sec- 
ond Thursday in October to consist of the governor, 
deputy governor and twelve assistants, with the more 
popular element of two deputies from every town or 

Of course, the territory embraced in the charter, in- 
cluded the entire colony of New Haven. Accordingly 
a committee were appointed who repaired to New Haven 
with becoming dispatch, and held a long and earnest 
conference with the authorities and principal gentlemen 
there. But the freemen of the colony were highly 
indignant, and looked with disfavor upon this strange 
patent that had thus suddenly disposed of their govern- 
ment and political existence, without giving them a pre- 
monition of the fate that awaited them. Meetings were 
called in the towns of the colony, protesting against the 
union of the colonies, and delegates were appointed to 
attend the session of the General Court held on the 6th 
of May, 1663, and a remonstrance against the doings of 


the encroaching colony was drawn up and sent to the 
General Assembly of Connecticut. Numerous sessions 
of the General Court were called. Discussions in- 
numerable, and protests without number, kept the colony 
in a constant state of excitement, confusion and enmity ; 
but the doom of this little republic was impending. 
What could she do against a powerful colony clad in the 
impenetrable panoply of the royal charter. 

On the 1 3th of December, 1664, the freemen of New 
Haven held their last General Court, and passed a series 
of resolutions declaring themselves " now put under 
Connecticut patent ;" and the colony " having drawn the 
folds of her mantle about her, as if to prepare herself to 
die with the dignity that became her, found, with a 
pleased surprise, that union was not annihilation, and 
in the arms of her elder sister, whom she learned at last 
both to forgive and to love, ' lay down to pleasant 
dreams.' " 

Six years after the union of the colonies, about one 
hundred persons, men, women and children, commenced 
the settlement at Wallingford. Instead of scattering 
themselves on farms, as is now usual in new settlements, 
they erected their humble dwellings in a compact village. 
This arrangement, though inconvenient for an agricultu- 
ral population, was necessary for defence and safety in 
these perilous times, when savage wars, and the irregu- 
lar incursions of the Indians were so frequent. On the 
6th of April, 1671, the first town meeting was held in 
Wallingford. How many of the first undertakers had 
families when they came to Wallingford to reside, we 
cannot now ascertain. In the spring of 1671, there were 
probably one hundred inhabitants. 

The first birth in the town was Samuel, son of Samuel 


Potter, born September 19, 1671. The first marriage 
was on the 5th of June, 1673, when one of the first 
planters, Thomas Hall, and one of Wallingford's fair 
daughters were joined in the union of heart and hand in 
bonds indissoluble. In those days it was understood by 
both parties that the wife was to be " a help-meet for her 
husband." On this point the minister who joined them 
was wont to be very emphatic. 1 

The first death in Wallingford, was Samuel, son of 
Eleazer Peck, who died March 12, 1673. A death in 
that small community was a great event. The magis- 
trate, the minister, and the fathers of the town, came to 
the bed of the dying to witness his testament and gather 
up Jiis last words. It was soon known to every indi- 
vidual of the plantation that one of their number had 
been cut down. All were eager once more to gaze upon 
the face they had known so well ; they flocked to the 
funeral ; the near neighbors and coevals of the dead bore 
him on their shoulders to the grave ; the whole commu- 
nity with solemn step and downcast eyes, followed him 
to his long home. Almost from the beginning, the 
town had the following civil officers, chosen by its own 
freemen : namely, a board of selectmen, varying in 
number from three to nine ; a clerk, a treasurer, a sealer 
of weights and measures, one or more surveyors of high- 
ways, a constable, and one or more tithing men. In 
October, 1644, the admirable system of recording all 
conveyances of land was instituted, and the following 
law was passed : 

" The towns shall each of them provide a ledger book with 
an index or alphabet unto the same : also shall choose one 

I Sec Dr. lUishnell's Discourse. 


who shall be a town clerk or register, who shall before the 
General Court in April, next, record every man's house and 
land already granted." 

The owners of land, under heavy penalties, were re- 
quired to present to the town clerk a description of 
their real estate for record. 

" The like to be done for all lands hereafter granted and 
measured to any ; and all bargains or mortgages of lands 
whatsoever shall be accounted as of no value until they be re- 

There is -nothing in which our nation is more peculiar, 
than that it records its own origin. There is no other 
nation that does this, the Jews excepted. No one of 
the present nations of Europe can tell in a word of their 
earliest ancestors, or even specify the century in which 
their territory was first taken possession of by them ; 
but all is involved in obscurity, as are the years before 
the flood. But it is far different with our early history 
as a nation. We know the men who said they would be 
free, and who laid the foundation of this mighty republic. 
We know whence they came, the object for which they 
came, the spot to which they came, and the year, the 
month, and the day they took possession. Our nation 
owes a lasting debt of gratitude to our ancestors for their 
fidelity in recording the incipient steps taken by them 
in settling this new world. 

With the true spirit of New Englanders, the inhabit- 
ants of Wallingford at once secured for themselves 
religious institutions and public worship. Though 
necessarily pressed with the excessive labor of erecting 
their own houses, and clearing away a heavy forest, to 
procure some land for cultivation, and the great expense 


involved therein, yet this little band had from the first, 
the stated preaching of the gospel. For two years, one 
Mr. Harriman preached on the Sabbath. He was not 
a regularly ordained pastor, but was probably an "elder," 
or church officer of that day, who was appointed to dis- 
charge certain duties in the church, and was authorized 
to preach, in case of the sickness or absence of the pas- 
tor. But they designed to secure the services of an 
ordained minister as soon as one could be found, and the 
first tax ever imposed in the town was for this purpose. 
The vote stands thus : 

"April 21, 1671. It was voated for the incouragement 
of any fitt person whose hart god may stire up to be 
helpfull in the ministry, that what some soever shall be 
Reqisitt to the attaining such a man shall be raysed for 
this present yeare according to every man's proportion of 
land allotted to him on the river ; the twelve acre lotts to 
pay 30 s, and the eight acre lotts to pay 20 s." 

This tax was not only a heavy one in itself to persons 
in their circumstances, but pressed still heavier from a 
fact, the nature of which we at this day can hardly 
appreciate ; the almost entire destitution of money, or 
circulating medium. So scanty was the amount of gold 
and silver, that even as late as 1 706, the whole circulat- 
ing cash in the Slate was not more than ,2,000. In 
1670, there must of course have been still less ; and all 
taxes and debts must have pressed therefore with almost 
intolerable weight, except when payable in something 
else than gold and silver. Banks, then, had no existence. 
We find on the early records accordingly, very many 
votes, authorizing payments to be made in various kinds 
of produce. As the New Haven people traded some 
with the West Indies, one common mode of raising 


funds was from hoops and staves, materials for which 
abounded in our woods and swamps, and for which there 
was then as now, a great demand in the islands. They 
were taken to New Haven and sold to the merchants. 
Thus we find in relation to the first tax, it was voted 
that " John Mosse and three others, ingage to provide 
and deliver 1500 good Marchantable pipe staves and 
deliver them at the place called logmine wharfe," and 
" others to pay their proportion in the like manner, in 
some other good pay." 




FROM the first formation of these Puritan colonies, all 
were compelled to support the Congregational order, 
which was the order of religion established by the civil 
government. And not only that ; none had any liberty 
to worship publicly in any other way. The rigor of this 
rule began to be abated in 1708, when the General 
Assembly of the State passed the Act of Toleration, as 
it was called, by which all persons who soberly dis- 
sented from the worship and ministry by law established 
(i. e., the Congregational), were permitted to enjoy the 
same liberty of conscience with the Dissenters in Eng- 
land, under the act of William and Mary ; i. e., they were 
exempt from punishment for not conforming to the 
established religion, but not exempt from taxation for its 
support. There could be no ministry or church admin- 
istration entertained, or attended by the inhabitants of 
any town or plantation, upon penalty of the forfeiture 
of five pounds for every breach of this act. 

Against some species of dissent, the laws were very 
stringent. " Quakers, Ranters, or such like " were to be 
committed to prison, or sent out of the colony. No in- 
dividual could "unnecessarily entertain or speak more or 
less with them," on penalty of five pounds ; and the town 


that allowed entertainment to be given them must also 
pay five pounds per week. Quaker books were ordered 
to be seized by the constable, and the persons in whose 
possession they were found, were to be fined ten shil- 
lings each. By appearing before the County Court, and 
there in legal form declaring their " sober dissent," they 
could obtain permission to have public worship in their 
own way, but were still obliged to pay for the support 
of the Congregational churches in the place of their resi- 
dence. There was a further relaxation, as it regards 
Episcopalians, in 1727, and as it regards Quakers and 
Baptists, in 1729. They were then exempt from taxation 
by the established churches, provided they attended the 
worship of God in a tolerated society of their own de- 
nomination. But Congregationalists and Presbyterians 
had no such exemption. If, for any reason, any of them 
wished to secede from churches or societies, and worship 
by themselves, they were still obliged to pay their taxes 
for the support of the churches from which they had 
seceded. Every person absenting himself from public 
worship on the Sabbath without sufficient excuse was 
liable to five shillings fine. In October, 1696, at the 
General Court at Hartford, it was ordered and enacted, 

"That in every town, plantation or societye within this 
Colonie where the maj r part of the householders of the said 
town, plantation or societye, who in or by lawe are an allowed 
societye, are aggreing in the calling and settling of a min- 
ister, such minister so called and settled, shall be and 
accounted the lawfull minister, of such town, plantation or 
societye, and that all aggreements respecting the maintenance 
and settlm 1 of such minister made by the maj r part of the 
householders of such town, plantation or society as afore- 
said shall be binding and obliging to the whole, and all of 


such town, plantation or societye, and to their successors, 
according to all the true intents and purposes thereof." 

The " Capitall Lawes" of 1642, ordered that "if any 
man after legall conviction, shall have, or worship any 
other God but the Lord God, he shall bee put to death." 

Although from the first week of their settlement, regu- 
lar worship had been maintained in Wallingford, and a 
regular pastor had been supported by the people, yet 
no church was organized. In this transaction they 
proceeded with all the deliberation which the reader of 
our early histories will remember was characteristic of 
the original settlers of New Haven and vicinity. In the 
year 1675, February 3, after there had been ample time 
for the inhabitants to become acquainted with each 
other's religious views and feelings, a day of fasting and 
prayer was observed, with reference to the organization 
of a church. On the fifteenth of the same month, the 
inhabitants again met ; designating thirteen of their 
number, to " lay the foundation," that is, to constitute by 
the due mode of organization, the church. These thir- 
teen, thus constituting the church, were then to admit 
others, by the ordinary course of examination and 

" At a lawful meeting the inhabitants of the town of 
Wallingford and upon the i5th day of the 2nd month, 1675, 
it was ordered and enacted by the town, that as there had 
been conference about establishing a Church of Christ, in 
the aforesaid town, and also a solemn fast set apart and 
celebrated by the town unanimously to seek God's guidance 
in so great a work, they have now also freely and unani- 
mously concluded if it be the will of God, that there shall 
be a Church of Christ gathered to walk according to the 
Congregational way, and have also all freely and unanimously 


left the management of the same in the hands of the per- 
sons whose names are underwritten, that if it be the will 
of God to incline their hearts, so many of them as may be 
a competent number for that work, may in his time lay 
the foundation. 



Mr. Moss, Lieut. MERRIAM, 





At the Court of Election, held at Hartford, May 
13, 1675, 

" Sundry of the Inhabitants of Wallingford Moveing the 
court that they might have Liberty to gather themselves into 
church Fellowship according to the order of the gospel there 
request being considered. This court grants them their desire 
they attending the same with the approbation of the Neigh- 
bour churches and desire the lords gracious presence and 
blessing may crown their endeavoures with such success as 
may advance the glory of God & their Spirituall Good and 

They had as yet no house of worship. They hardly 
needed one, for their numbers were so small that they 
could without much inconvenience assemble in a private 
house. For ten years they met on the Sabbath at the 
house of Lieutenant Nathaniel Merriman and Ensign 
Munson, for religious worship. We find on the records, 
September loth, 1677, the following entry : "voted that 
ensign Munson shall have fourty shillings allowed him 
for meeting in his house this yeare." One reason how- 
ever of this delay in erecting a " meeting house" must 
probably be found in the danger, alarm, and the impover- 


ishing effect of the famous Indian war of that period, 
usually called " King Phillip's war." The derangement 
of business, and the heavy taxation consequent on the 
expenses of the war, impoverished the population, and 
pressed heavily on the new settlement at Wallingford. 
Having recovered somewhat from the depression and 
impoverishment consequent on the war, we find them 
with true New England conscientiousness and public 
spirit, at work upon their church and school. At the 
Town-meeting, October 2, 1676, 

" The town agreed to have a meeting house built 34 fee t 
long, and 30 feet wide, and desired the townsmen together 
with Mr. Moss, St. Doolittle and the constable to consider 
itt, treate with some workmen about y e price, and make Re- 
port to y e towne in order to farther proceeding about the 


After considering the matter, the committee appeared 
to have come to the conclusion that a smaller and less 
expensive house would answer their purpose until the 
colony grew larger ; and at a Town-meeting, November 
27, 1678, 

" The town notwithstanding theyr former order about A 
meeting house : upon furdr consideration doe now for y e pres- 
ent conclude to build a house to meete in on y saboth, of 28 
foot in Length, and 24 foot in breadth, & ten foot in stud be- 
tweene y growndsill and wall plate, to be comfortably and 
comleyly fitted up with doers and windowes & flower or florrs 
and other things nedeful in order to the end propounded." 


The erection of the meeting-house seems to have pro- 
gressed very slowly, either from the want of means, or 
owing to the troubles which they were having at that 
time with the Indians. In 1681 a further rate was laid 
to finish the house, and it was voted to "go on and finish 
the house." Great must have been their poverty, when 
with all their high estimate of the value of religious 
institutions, and when we know that nothing but abso- 
lute inability could have prevented the most ample 
accommodations for their church, we find their whole 
united means inadequate to build and finish a house, 
which now almost any single journeyman could build 
out of his own resources. 

But as their population and wealth increased, we find 
the house of worship grew also. In 1690, an addition 
of sixteen feet was made to the breadth of it. There 
were now seventy-three families in the town. On the 
22nd of June, 1691, 

" The Town agreed to Scale y e meeting house all round 
from y e Sill up to y plate and to Remove y e pulpit to y e west 
end of y e meeting house, and to make a comly cover and set 
over y e pulpit." The town also "voted y* the meeting house 
shall be seated in A comly manner and y l there shall be an 
alley from y e East door to y c pulpit, and an alley from y e 
" South door, to y e midle alley, and y Short seats on each side 
of y e pulpit shall be made faceing to y e pulpit and this worke 
to be done as soon as may be." 

This same year, the town "voted that " two pews should 
be built ;" an indication of growth, and even of luxury ; for 
hitherto, the whole area of the house had been occupied 
with long seats, where all persons sat indiscriminately, 
except that the men and boys were on one side of the 
house, while the females sat on the other side. Feb. 15, 


1 698, it was voted to build an addition to the east side of the 
meeting house, fifty by twenty feet, making the form of 
a cross. This house stood until 1717, when it was taken 
down to make room for the three story meeting house. 

r 1 


It is quite likely that some of the good people of that 
day were shocked at the extravagance, pride and degen- 
eracy developed by the innovation of pews. But growth 
and change kept on their course ; for under date of 
April 30, 1706, we find, 

" The town chose Deken Hall, Samuel Roys, and goodman 
Culvert, a commettee to procure workmen to come and build 
gallers for the In largment of the meeting house." 1 

The Rev. Mr. Davenport was present and assisted in 
laying the foundation of this church ; and standing at the 
foot of the eminence where the village looks off so pleas- 
antly upon the then fair range of woods and streams, 
preached a characteristic discourse from the words of 
Isaiah, " My beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful 
hill." 2 

I The first meeting house was erected on the open space north of the 
present Congregational church, and almost in front of the open space 
between the Carrington house and the residence of the late Aimer Hall. 

z So says Lambert, 83 ; Barber's Hist. Coll., 253 ; and Hollister, I, 
256 ; but it may be a mistake, as Davenport removed to Boston in 1667. 


At a town meeting, June 4, 1677, 

" The Towne desired Eliazur Peck to looke to y e boyes on 
y e sabbath that they keep good order at meeting." 

At a town meeting, February 26, 1689, 

" The town agreed and votted to build a fort Round y e 
meeting house." 

July 19, 1693-4, Joshua Culver was hired to sweep 
and take care of the meeting house, "and 18 s. were 
allowed him for his pains." By another vote, 

" James Westwood was chosen to look after the boys who 
sit in the uper end of the meeting house, Sabath days, and 
Samuel Munson to look after the young folks who sat at the 
lower end of the meeting house. April 25, 1710, The 
Townsmen were directed to contract with some person to 
sweep the meeting house from year to year." 1 

Their churches, or, more properly speaking, meeting 
houses, 2 were devoid of all beauty ar.d elegance, and con- 
sisted generally of rough, unhewn logs put together in 
such a manner as to be hardly sufficient to keep out 
wind and rain. The interior was furnished very plainly. 
Immediately before the pulpit, and facing the congrega- 
tion, was an elevated seat for the ruling elder ; and 
before that, somewhat lower, was a seat for the deacons, 
behind the communion table. On the floor of the house 
there were neither pews nor slips, but plain seats ; men 
and women were seated separately, on opposite sides of 

1 The meeting house was built of logs, with a square roof running up 
to a point in the center, with a turret. The windows were small, with 
shutters, and without glass. 

2 " There is no just ground from Scripture to apply such a trope as 
church to a house for a public assembly." Mather's Ratio Disciplens. 


the house, and every one according to his office, age, or 
rank in society, had his place assigned by a committee 
appointed for that purpose ; seats were placed on each 
side of the front door for soldiers, and generally a senti- 
nel was stationed in the turret. Of six pieces of 
artillery belonging to the town of New Haven, three 
were always stationed by the water side, and three by 
the meeting house : no fires were allowed, even in the 
coldest day in winter. Mr. Davenport required all of 
his congregation to stand up whilst the text was nam- 
ing ; the reason which was given for it being, that it was 
the word of God, and deserved peculiar honor. 1 

The ministers of religion were the especial favorites 
of the colonial government. Their polls and estates 
were exempted from taxation, and stringent laws were 
made to secure them the advantages of their position 
and the respect of their flocks. It was provided that if 
any Christian so called, should contemptuously behave 
himself " towards the word preached or the messenger 
thereof," he should, for the first offence, be reproved 
openly, in some public assembly, by the magistrate ; and 
for the second, should pay a fine of five pounds, 

" Or else stand two hours openly upon a block or stool 
four feet high, on a public meeting day, with a paper fixed 
on his breast written with capital letters : AN OPEN AND 


others may fear and be ashamed." 

On Sundays the minister was treated with special 
reverence. When he passed from the threshold to the 

i " At Quinniapyock [ New Haven], Mr. Davenport preached in the 
forenoon that men must be uncovered and stand up at the reading the 
text, and in the afternoon the assembly jointly practised it." Mr. Hooker 
to Shepard, March 20, 1640. 


pulpit, the people rose ; and if he formally addressed 
them in any part of the sermon, those in the galleries, in 
obedience to parental injunction and usage, in many 
places, stood and continued standing till the address 
was concluded. 

Every church had its pastor, teacher, ruling elder, 
and deacons. The pastor, teacher and elder were all 
ordained with equal solemnity. It devolved on the 
pastor to inculcate the duties and present the consola- 
tions of religion. The teacher was the private expounder 
of the law ; the counselor whose learning, deep piety, 
calm judgment and refined experience could be depen- 
ded upon in doubtful matters. The duty of the ruling 
elder was to assist the pastor in the government of the 
church, particularly to keep strict watch over all the 
brethren and sisters, and see that they demeaned them- 
selves in an orderly and godly manner ; to prepare and 
bring forward all cases of discipline, to visit and pray 
with the sick ; to warn the careless, admonish the way- 
ward, and to present the incorrigible before the proper 
tribunal for discipline, and, in the absence of the pastor 
and teacher, to pray with the congregation and ex- 
pound the Scriptures. The office of the deacons was to 
provide for the Lord's table and care for the sick, and 
to attend to the secular affairs of the church. The early 

" Reasoned high 

Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate, 
Fixed fate, free-will, foreknowledge absolute, 
And found no end in wondering mazes lost. 
Of good and evil much they argued then, 
Of happiness, and final misery, 
Passion, and apathy, -glory, and shame." 


Their life-long effort was still to climb higher, ever 

" Paula majora canamus." 

The planters had now after much labor and trouble 
erected a house for public worship ; but it was one of 
the many calamities of the colonists, that the meeting- 
house, through the unfaithfulness or incompetency of 
some of the workmen, had to undergo very frequent 
repairs. But this building, and those who worshiped 
there, have alike mouldered to dust; but the ground is 
holy, and should be cherished, 

"Like spots of earth where angel feet have trod." 

The record of eternity doubtless contains the names of 
many to whom the portals of this modest church were 
the gateways of Heaven. In this little edifice meaner 
and more rude in its construction than any building now 
in the valley the fathers of the town held their solemn 
assemblies, offered up their united prayers, and put 
forth their stern views of doctrine. At the appointed 
hour, the drum having been beaten, both the first time 
and the second, the whole population, from the dwel- 
lings of the town and the outlying farms, came together 
in the place of prayer. In plain and carefully kept 
clothes, the saintly heads of families, with their closely 
trained and solemn faced children, came, after the toils 
of the week, to observe holy day. The sentinel is placed 
in the turret ; those who are to keep ward, go forth, 
pacing, two by two, the still green lanes. 

The imagination cannot but revert to those occasions, 
with an admiration toned down almost to holy reverence. 
There, in the midst of a silent wilderness, the hardy, 
toil-worn settlers and their wives and daughters are 


gathered, gazing with moistened eyes at their venerable 
pastor as he discourses to them from the first verse of 
the third chapter of Matthew, and warns them "of the 
temptations of the wilderness ; " or listening with 
bowed heads to the fervent prayer that the God of 
Israel will endue his servant, as heretofore, with courage 
and counsel to lead them in the days of their future 
peril. The curious Indian paused at the door, and was 
filled with awe as the white man addressed the Great 
Spirit. In this rude, unfinished structure, is devotion 
true and pure, worship, more solemn for the lack of 
outward pomp. Far away from the busy haunts of 
men, they seemed, and felt nearer God more alone with 
God than ever before. With reverent joy they rejoiced 
in that blessed intimacy of communion, and drew from 
it the strength they needed for the trials and duties 
that formed the staple of their daily lives. In the 
eloquent words of Dr. Bacon, 1 through a long course of 
exercises, which would weary out the men of our degen- 
erate days, these hearers sit -or stand with the most 
exemplary attention. They love the word that comes 
from the lips of their pastor. They love the order of 
this house. For the privilege of uniting in these forms 
of worship, of hearing the gospel thus preached, of 
living under this religious constitution, and of thus 
extending in the world the kingdom which is righteous- 
ness and peace and joy, they undertook the work of 
planting this wilderness. To them each sermon, every 
prayer, every tranquil Sabbath is the more precious for 
all that it has cost them. It is not strange, then, that 
their attention is awake through these long services, till, 

i Historical Discourses, 51. 


as the day declines, they retire to their dwellings, and 
close the Sabbath with family worship and the catechis- 
ing of their children. We seem to hear the utterance 
of their piety in that old stave of Sternhold and 

" Go walke about all Syon hill, yea round about her go ; 
And tell the towers that thereupon are builded on a roe ; 
And mark you well her bulwarks all, behold her towers there, 
That ye may tell thereof to them that after shall be here, 
For this God is our God, forevermore is hee ; 
Yea and unto the death also, our guider shall hee be." 




FOR the first two years of the settlement of the town, 
Mr. John Harriman, although not at that time an 
ordained minister, preached to them on the Sabbath. 
Mr. Harriman was a native of New Haven. His father 
was for many years a respected member of the church, 
and was long the keeper of the ordinary, or house of 
public entertainment in that time. The son, having 
been fitted for college in the grammar school at New 
Haven, under the eye of Mr. Davenport, was educated 
at Harvard College, where he graduated in 1667. For 
about twenty years he resided at New Haven, preaching 
as a candidate there, also at East Haven and Walling- 
ford. In 1682, he removed to Elizabeth town, New 

In the year 1672, Rev. Samuel Street, son of Rev. 
Nicholas Street, pastor of the church at New Haven, 1 

I Nicholas Street was born in England, and received his education at 
one of the universities there ; and about the year 1638 he was settled at 
Taunton, in the Plymouth Colony, as colleague with Mr. Hooker, at the 
first organization of the church there. He removed to New Haven and 
was ordained, according to the church records, " the 26th of the 9th, 
1659." Of the character of Mr. Nicholas Street, as of his life, we know 
but little. He appears to have been a pious, judicious, modest man. 
His " Considerations upon the Seven Propositions concluded by the 
Synod," published as an appendix to Mr. Davenport's more elaborate 


was invited to settle at Wallingford ; and in April, 1673, 
he removed his family there, and in 1674 was installed 
as pastor of the church. After Mr. Street had con- 
sented to become their minister, two committees were 
appointed : one was to see that Mr. Street's goods were 
brought from New Haven and landed at some convenient 
place, the other to see that they were thence carted up 
to Wallingford. To us this seems to indicate a curious 
mode of intercourse between the two towns. But then 
owing to the state of the roads, it was no doubt easier 
to send the goods from New Haven harbor, up the 
Quinnipiac river, as far perhaps as North Haven, and 
from thence by land to Wallingford. 

Mr. .Street was graduated at Harvard College in 1664, 
and was forty years old when he came to Wallingford. 
He received an annual salary before any church was 
gathered there. It may serve to convey some idea of the 
character of the people, that in 1673, when their own 
poor dwellings were hardly erected, and they were 
struggling with all the untold difficulties of a wilderness, 
and when their whole number, men, women and child- 
ren, hardly exceeded one hundred, they voted to build a 
house for their minister, and to pay him a salary of ^50. 
If our western settlements now had as much courage 
and energy, we should have small need of Home Mis- 
sionary Societies. February 24, 1673, " itt was ordered 
that Mr. Street's house be Raised at the Townes charge." 
At a Court of Election held at Hartford, May 12, 1681, 

book on the same subject, shows great clearness of thought, and some 
pungency of style. That he was no inferior preacher, may be inferred 
from the fact that he was found worthy to succeed Mr. Hooker, and that 
he maintained his standing as the colleague of Mr. Davenport. The 
whole course of his ministry in New Haven was about sixteen years and 
a half. 


"The Court for the encouragement of Mr. Samuel Streete 
grant him two hundred acres of land, provided he take it up 
where it may not prejudice any former grant to any person or 

This was laid out April 24, 1682, in Wallingford, and 
by him conveyed, June 27, 1686, to Mr. John Hulls, of 
Derby. Jan. 12, 1685, there was granted to Mr. Street, 

" A house lott containing six acres as may appear by the 
act of the town in folio 5, also six acres of Land by exchange 
with the town in folio 30, being laid out by the town sur- 
veigher, and lying on the east side of the town being the sixth 
house lott in number, and bounded on the south by Abraham 
Dowlittle, Jun r , on the North side and on the west and east 
end by the town street being fourty eight Rods long and 40 
rods wide and so they lye for twelve acres more or less." 1 

At a town meeting held in Wallingford, April 28, 1696, 

" The Town voted to allow Mr. Sam 1 Street as A recom- 
pense of his labour in y e worke of y e ministry iny e year 1696 
y e full & just sum of one hundred pounds in provision pay, only 
y e s d Mr. Street is to find himself firewood & he will set A 
week in y e forepart of y e sumer & A week in y e latter part of 
y e sumer y* each man may bring A load of wood or two if y e 
s d Mr. Street se Cause & y l Mr. Street will allow 2 & 6 d P 
load to each man." 

During Mr. Street's residence in Wallingford, he 
exerted a great influence in all the affairs of the town, 
and was much respected by all the inhabitants. He 
answered to a letter, Cowper's description of a preacher, 
such as Paul, were he on earth, would hear, approve and 
own : 

i On the town records there are seven other grants of land to Mr. 
Street, amounting in all to one hundred and twenty acres. 


" Simple, grave, sincere ; 
In doctrine uncorrupt, in language plain, 
And plain in manner, decent, solemn, chaste, 
And natural in gesture ; much impressed 
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge, 
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds 
May feel it too ; affectionate in looks, 
And tender in address, as well becomes 
A messenger of grace to guilty men." 

Mr. Street died January 16, 1717, aged eighty-two 
years ; a venerable man, to whom age had come " frostly 
but kindly," and whose last days were like those of an 
Indian summer, serene and beautiful, even till the stars 
appeared in heaven. He was pastor of the church for 
forty-two years. 1 Time was when the location of a 
minister in any particular place, as pastor of a church, 
was regarded as a permanent establishment. Until near 
the close of the last century, the dismission of a pastor 
was an event of uncommon occurrence ; a thing which 
gave occasion for much remark; and the cause of dismis- 
sion was the subject of earnest inquiry. Councils, when 
called to act on the question of dissolving the connec- 
tion between a pastor and his church, long hesitated 
before coming to a decision. It was long the custom in 
Connecticut, for the young men and women of a parish 
to celebrate the occasion of the settlement of a new 
minister by a ball on the evening following the day of 
his ordination or installation. This was termed the 
"ordination ball," and was sometimes conducted with 

i His youngest son, Nicholas, was settled in Groton ; the eldest, Samuel, 
had three sons, Captain Elnathan, Samuel, and John. The eldest daugh- 
ter was married to Deacon John Peck, and died before her father. One 
was married to Theophilus Yale, and another to Joshua Culver. The 
widow of Mr. Street died July 12, 1730. 


such propriety and decorum that church members and 
even the new pastor would honor the ball with their 
presence. They ultimately came to be regarded as a 
scandal, and were at last suppressed by public sentiment. 1 
As Mr. Street became unable to perform the duties 
of his office, it became necessary to provide a colleague 
and successor. The forethought and action of the 
people in the matter are set forth in the following votes : 

"July 26, 1708. The town voted that they apprehended it 
was their duty to take care and Look out to geat another 

i The following are the items for the " laying out for ye Ordination of 

Rev. Nathaniel Chauncey of Durham." Mr. Chauncey's sister was the 
wife of Rev. Mr. Whittelsey of Wallingford. He was ordained February 

17, 1711. 

s. d. 

"From Joel Pamerly 15 Ibs Pork and 1-2 Bushel Mault. 4 4 

By Beef from Mr. Wadsworth 16 o 

By 20 Ib. Butter 10 10 o 

By 20 Ib. Sugar 10 10 o 

By 4 Bushel Wheat 1 7 o 

By Cheese 42 42 

By Hens, Goose, Turkic 16 6 

By a Sheep and fetching from Town, 9 o 

By 3 Bushel apples 3 6 

By 2 Quarters of Mutton 3 o 

Mault for Beer 4 o 

Barrel of Cyder 8 o 

Chocolate, Pepper ; Spice, Currant, Nutmeg 6 o 

Metheglin and Rum. 12 6 

Two Piggs, fresh Pork, Salt Pork and Beef 6 6 

Hireing 5 Horses 2 o 

Labor and trouble of my Family 10 o 

Four Neats' Tongues 2 8 

To ye Camps' girl 56 56 

Good wife Taylor 6 o 

Good wife Seward 3 o 

Good wife Hecox 3 o 

Good wife Squire 3 o 

8 5 8 


minister The town voted that they would chouse a 

commetie to Seeke out and to take the advice for the pro- 
curing and bring in a minister to seatle in the place." 

Five men were chosen as a committee, who invited 
Mr. Whittelsey to preach ; and on the 2Oth of Sep- 

" The town by a unanimous vot did confiearme the com- 
mities agreement with m r . Sam 1 . Whittelsey in order to his 
Seatelment in the work of the minestuy in our town." 

After preaching some time, the people being satisfied 
with his labors, invited him to become their pastor. 
The following is the letter in which the call was commu- 
nicated : 

" MR. WHITTELSEY, SUR : The subscribers hereof being 
a committe appointed and empowered by the town of 
Wallingford as may appear by their record bearing date 
April 4, 1789 ; to treat with yourself in order to a settelment 
with us in the ministry, and for your incouragement to com- 
ply with us therein, doe propose to make such grants of 
Lands and other incouragements following first we doe 
give and grant to you the said Mr. Samuel Whittelsey, a six 
acar lott of land lying neare the meting house ; and one acar 
and a half of the west end Deaken John Hall's home lott 
for a building lott, to be bought for you : also a peace of 
Land at south ward side the Leatel quarter on the hill on 
which the town stands fifteen acars ; and seaven acars of 
pasture land on the north side of Nath'l Ives home lott : also 
a meadow lott of land in the common field on the west side 
of the river of twenty acars and known by the name of 
the parsonage ; and fore acars of plaine in the same field 
called the town lott, also a farm of one hundred and fifty 
acars of Land att Pilgrim's Harbor called the town farm 
with all the un laid outt land adjoining, and one hundred 
pound right in common-age and in all undivided land, all 


which shall be to the said Mr. Sam'l Whittlesey, his heirs, 
executors and administrators and assigns for ever, as an 
estate of inheritance in fee simple : Likewise the said 
committee do agree to build a house for the s'd Mr Sam'll 
Whittlesey of forty-two feets in Length and twenty feets in 
breadth, tow stories hye, with a porch and a back kitching 
and finish it deasantly the said Mr. Samuel Whittlesey to 
provide glass and nales : which house is to be soe built 
within tow years : the s'd committee doth farther agree that 
the said Mr. Whittlesey shall have a Sallery of Seaventy 
pound a year for the tow first years and the thurd yeare 
eighty pound and One hundred pound a yeare ever after, 
soe long as he carrieth on the work of the ministry : which 
Sallery shall be paid in wheat at five shillings par bushel, 
rye at three shillings sixpence par bushel, indian corne at two 
shillings sixpence par bushel, pork at threepence farding par 
povnd, and if it soe fall out that there doth not come a 
supply of fire wood yearly to the s'd Mr. Whittlesey by 
parsons appearing to do it gratis, then the town are obliged 
to take the care, and find him his wood in some other way 
but if the providence of God should so order that the 
said Mr. Sam'll Whittlesey dye leaving no male Hare that 
is a natural issue of his bodye, then the six acar lott 
by the meeting house, and the meadow lott called the 
parsonage to returne to the town againe, to the true and 
honest intent and parformans of the preameses we the before 
named committee have sett our names. 





Mr. Whittelsey accepted this call, and in September, 
1709, "The town voted and Laid a Rait of eight pence 
upon the pound for the caring on of the work mr. 
Sam'll Whittelsey hous fore pence upon the pound to be 


paid upon this year's List and fore pence to be paid upon 
the next year's List." He was installed May, 1710. 

Rev. Samuel Whittelsey was born at Saybrook, Conn., 
in 1686. He was the youngest son of John Whittelsey, 
who was the emigrant ancestor of all who bear the name, 
and Ruth ( Dudley Whittelsey). He was graduated at 
Yale College in 1705, and five years afterwards was in- 
stalled as colleague with Mr. Street. Here he continued 
until his death, which took place on the i5th of August, 
1752, just as he was entering his sixty-seventh year. 
He was a fellow of Yale College from 1732 to 1752. 
Mr. Whittelsey married July i, 1712, Sarah, the young- 
est daughter of Rev. Nathaniel Chauncey of Hatfield, 
Mass., and granddaughter of President Chauncey of 
Harvard College. She was born in 1683. She was a 
woman of active mind and energy of character. For 
the accomodation of the parish, which at that time in- 
cluded all the inhabitants of the town, she kept a store 
of goods. Her house was the abode of hospitality, even 
after the death of her husband. The Governor of the 
State had been in the habit of taking dinner at Mr. 
Whittelsey's, when on the way to meet the legislature at 
New Haven. After the death of Mr. Whittelsey, he pass- 
ed on one occasion without stopping, very much to her 
dissatisfaction. "To think," said she, "that he should 
come to see us so often that his horse refused to go by 
without stopping until he was whipped ; and now that 
he should refuse to stop and see me in my affliction !" 
She died October 20, or 23, 1767, aged eighty-four years. 

President Stiles, in an obituary of Mr. Whittelsey, 
published shortly after his death, in the Boston " Post 
Boy" speaks of him as follows : " He was a gentleman 
of penetrating genius, solid judgment and extensive 


understanding ; indefatigable and unwearied in his appli- 
cation to study and liberal inquiry, by which his 
acquaintance with the sciences became extensive, his 
knowledge universal, and in moral .wisdom he had few 
equals. Under the influence of Christian principles, 
his soul flowed to diffusive benevolence ; he lived the 
religion he. inculcated, and recommended it by the pow- 
erful charms of a virtuous example. His talents as a 
preacher were singular, being master of an engaging 
elocution and address, and in composition judicious and 
instructive. He ministered intellectual food, and 
entertained his audience with the beaten oil of the sanc- 
tuary. He labored with delight in word and doctrine. 
The services and devotions of the sanctuary were his 
supreme pleasure. In many ways, by his extensive 
influence, he served the church of Christ, and the public 
glory of his kingdom. Happy in offspring and a well 
educated family, his sons under the advantage of a 
liberal education, survived him in his genius, improve- 
ments and Christian character. As a private Christian, 
he was exemplary, virtuous and pious ; had a natural 
reservedness of mind which rendered him singular in 
bearing injuries which the best can't escape ; and when 
reviled, he reviled not again, but retaliated in gratitude 
with that meekness and goodness which extorted vener- 
ation from the partial, as well as obtained a cheerful 
tribute from the candid judge of merit. Not less 
eminent was his patience, especially in the lengthened 
illness which finished his life. The supports of religion 
and a well regulated life, shone in the steady calmness 
and composure of his temper during his illness ; while 
a mortification in his legs and feet, arising from an ill 
state of blood and disorder of body, preyed upon him, 


and in a gradual decline extinguished his life. Thus died 
Samuel the prophet, full of days and the Holy Ghost ; 
after he had long and faithfully served his generation, he 
' fell on sleep, was gathered to his fathers, and all Israel 
lamented him.' " 

Dr. Chauncey of Boston said of him, that he was one 
of the greatest men in Connecticut. He had not only 
a clear, strong head, but the clearest way of expressing 
his thoughts upon any difficult subject, of any one he 
was acquainted with. " I have heard him say, that when 
he had clear ideas of any subject he could communicate 
with the same clearness, and do it with ease." 1 He was 
one of the most eminent preachers in the colony in his 
day, a laborious, faithful minister of Christ, applying 
his whole time to his work, and shone with distinction 
in intellectual and moral attainments. One of the old 
writers says : " He was esteemed an heavenly man." 2 

1 Chauncey Memorials, p. 203. Mr. Whittelsey published an Election 
Sermon, 1730; a Sermon on the death of John Hall, 1730; a Sermon 
on the woful condition of impenitent souls in their separate state, 1731 ; a 
Sermon on the ordination of his son, 1737. 

2 Samuel, the eldest son of Rev. Samuel Whittelsey, was born Novem- 
ber, 1714, was graduated in 1729, and held, the office of tutor in Yale 
College from 1732 till 1738. It was during the period of his tutorship 
that he was invited by the church in Milford to settle as colleague pastor 
with the Rev. Samuel Andrews. He accepted the call, but a large minor- 
ity in the parish remonstrated against his ordination, on the alleged 
ground that he was an Arminian in his theology, and that his preaching 
savored too little of Christian experience. The council called to ordain 
him were divided in their judgment of the case ; and his ordination was 
finally the result of a compromise, which resulted, after all, in the forma- 
tion of a second society. He was ordained November 8, 1738, and con- 
tinued in the discharge of his official duties till his death, which took 
place October 22, 1768. His widow, who was a lady of high intellectual 
and moral qualities, afterwards became the wife of the Hon. Jabez Ham- 
lin, of Middletown, who was, for many years, dislirgi it hcd in civil life. 


The old house with its " two pues" and " gallers," 
could not well contain the growing population, for some 
of the hearers had to put up with rather inconvenient 
church accommodations. But of these they were cut 
short by the following peremptory and rather uncour- 
teous vote of the town in 1716: "ordered that the alleys 
in the meeting house be cleared of chairs and stools, 
and the constable see that it be done." Where the 
occupants of these " chairs and stools" bestowed them- 
selves after this unceremonious ejectment we do not 
know ; but it is quite probable that they agitated effect- 
ually the project of a new and better house ; for in a few 
months we find a new church edifice in progress. In 
September 23, 1717, 

" The town by their voat signified that they thought it was 
there Duty to begin about a new meeting house & chose 
capt. John Hall, en curtis, ser. Hart, Gideon ives, william 
ward, Joseph parker, Robert Hall, & Sa u Hall a committee 
to manage the affairs & carri on the work about the new meet- 
ing house And the forms of the house to be like 

gilford meeting house and be left to y e committee to make 
sum little alteration if they see cause ; And layed a rate of 
eight pence on the pounde for the careing on the metting 

A question arose as to the place where the meeting- 
house should stand ; whereupon it was decided that it 
should stand where " the timbers for the same now lies," 
which was almost in front of the present Congregational 
church, the steeple being at the north end of the house, 
which fronted east. Preparations were going forward 
during the whole of the year, and in 1718, the house was 
raised. The committee for raising the frame work of 
the house divided the inhabitants of the town into three 


parts. Each division of the inhabitants was faithfully 
to attend to the raising of the house when called upon ; 
and should this arrangement fail, then the committee 
were empowered to hire them. It was 

" Voted that the metting hous floure shall be layed with 

good single Boards well Rabbited The towne 

voated that the metting hous shall have pues maid all round 
it and y e rest of y e hous shall be long seats." 

This last vote indicates the further increase of lux- 
urious habits, inasmuch as the " two pews" of the old 
house were multiplied into a whole range of "pues," 
built all around the sides of the new house. The next 
vote was to raise funds for the building. 

"April 28, 1719, the Town voated y 1 they would git so 
many staves as will load vessell and they chose Capt. Hall 
to make a bargain for y e town in y e Disposall of y e staves, 
they obliged themselves to git : in buying glass 1 and nales 
and promise to indemnifie hall from any damages thereby if 
he shall need to stand or give bonds." 

The house was completed and occupied in 1720. It 
was a large house, three stories high, with two tiers of 
galleries, one above the other, somewhat in the manner 

I In January, 1719, Mr. John Russel proposed to furnish the glass for 
the new house, and his offer was accepted. The contract was as follows : 

" Wallingford, January 5, 1719. 

" John Russel of Wethersfield, Glazier, will oblige himself to make all 
the Glass for the New Meeting house workman like and to do it as cheap 
as ye Market price for such Glass, and will begin about May next ; and 
take his pay in good Barrel staves by the last of June at current Market 
price. Only his necessary charge whilst he is about the work to be 
borne, he allowing it out of the price of the glass. 


" In presence of < ( 


SAM'L. HULL." ' 



of a theater, and of the "old South" church in Boston ; a 
mode of building churches quite common during the 
last century. The upper gallery was of course very 
high, and as its occupants were almost entirely out of 
sight, it furnished an admirable place for boys to cluster 
together and play. Even in the old house it had been 
found necessary in 1677, to 

" Vote that Eliazur Peck be desired to looke to y e boyes 
on y e saboth that they keep good order at meeting ;" and 
again in 1713, "the town chos Serg tl Daniel Hall to look 
after boys on y e saboth day." 


In the new house they found it necessary to deny the 
boys admission altogether into so tempting a place as 
the upper gallery, for in 

"April 25, 1721, voated that no young man shall go up 


into the upper gallery to sett there on the Saboth day under 
eighteen yeare old. 

"September 16, 1716, the town voated and gave liberty 
that particular men may build a steeple to our meeting house." 

But it was not until January 9, 1728, that a " belfree" 
was built, the top of which was crowned by a large 
brass rooster. 

The present custom of renting the seats in churches 
was then unknown : and in the new house there would 
be quite a choice between the " pues" and the " long 
seats." In order to arrange or prevent all disputes for 
precedence in the matter, a committee was appointed 
" to dignify and seat the meeting-house." In assigning 
seats to the respective individuals and families, the 
committee were enjoined by vote " to respect the aged 
who had been serviceable to the town," and also " to have 
respect to those who had borne commissions." After 
giving the best seats to these dignitaries, they were in- 
structed to have " this general rule for seating the meet- 
ing, viz. : the lists, on which the charges are raised." If 
a plan had been devised for creating and perpetuating 
envy, jealousy and pride, no more ingenious scheme 
could have been invented for that purpose, than this 
attempt to arrange people in the house of God, every 
Sabbath day, according to their wealth and supposed 
rank. Many an individual would probably form quite a 
different estimate of his "dignity," from the committee. 
What feelings were engendered have been forgotten, ex- 
cept in one instance we learn that one man to whom was 
assigned a position on the "long seats," having made 
known his grievance, had redress as follows : 

" The town by their voat gave Capt. John Hall, liberty to 


make him self a pew in the new metting hous, near the east 
Dore, on men's side on his own charge Decem- 
ber 18, 1716, the town voated that Robert Roys should sett 
in y 6 fore seat in y e meeting hous, and that Capt Hall sen r 
shall set in the Deacons seat and capt Hall jun r to set in y e 
first pue & Capt. Doolittle to set in y e second pue. De- 
cember 20, 1720, the town gave M rs Whittelsey liberty to 
choose her self a pew in the new metting hous. February 
8, 1732 ; voated the ancient comitee shall find some sutable 
seat for M r Studley where he may sett on Saboth Days." 

The custom was maintained here until the occupation 
of the house which was built in 1831. Tn September, 
1718, it was voted that a steeple should be built for the 
meeting-house, but it was not until 1728, that anything 
was done in regard to it ; and in January of that year a 
belfry was built. This house was occupied until 1824, 
when it was taken down to make room for the fourth 
house of worship. 

.'HT of mi-: 




THE north part of the town, though owned'by Walling- 
ford, was not a part of Wallingford. The title or fee 
simple of the land was in the town of Wallingford ; 
the right of government was in the State, but there 
was no town authority in it or over it ; it was neither a 
town, nor constituted a part of any town. The General 
Court, in anticipation of the loss of the charter by a 
judgment on the Quo Warranto, or of being compelled 
to surrender it to Andros, now took such measures as 
were in their power to secure the colony against the 
future exactions of an arbitrary governor. The charter 
was yet valid, and the governor and company were em- 
powered to dispose of all vacant lands, vesting them in 
the grantees by a tenure as liberal as that by which the 
colony now held them, and exempting the proprietors 
from the levy of quit-rents or any similar exaction. 
Patents had already been issued to the several towns, 
and to many individual proprietors. Debts due the 
colony were to be collected, and whatever surplus should 
remain in the treasury was to be distributed to the 
several towns. The grants were intended to put the 


vacant lands beyond the reach of Andros or other sim- 
ilarly commissioned governors. At " A Speciall Gen' 
Court held at Hartford January 26, 1686," it was voted 

" This Court grants Weathersfeild, Midletown and Farm- 
ington all those vacant lands between Wallingford bownds 
and the bownds of those plantations, to make a village there- 

This grant comprised that part of the town called 
" Belcher's farm," on which was the place called Meriden. 
But no action was taken until May 9, 1728, when 
Bartholomew Foster, Ezekiel Roys, John Merriam, 
Robert Collins, Nathaniel Merriam, Timothy Foster, 
Thomas Andrews, Josiah Robinson, Joseph Merriam, 
John Merriam Jun. and William Merriam, petitioned the 
Governor and General Court, 

" That those lands lying between farmington and walling- 
ford with the north of walingford to be a village or parish 
societie, to reserve M r Belcher his farm att the stone house 
for the present. We doe therefore now cast o r selves on y" 
Clemency of this Honored affembly and pray that the stone 
house farm may be granted to them." 

The above petition was granted, and the village called 
Meriden. Ten years previous to this, some of the 
settlers living south of Belcher's farm sent the following 
petition to Wallingford : 

"We, the inhabitants bordering and adjacent to the town 
of Wallingford, do here entreat and request, that you would 
admit us the subscribers as wholesome and lawful inhabitants 
into the town of Wallingford. We the petitioners here re- 
quest that if it may please you the inhabitants of the town of 
Wallingford to admit us your humble petitioners as town 


inhabitants, then your humble petitioners do promise and 
engage to be subject to your good and wholesome orders, laws 
and constitutions, as witness our hands. 




The town voted to comply with the request of the 
petitioners. But for a time, not all the inhabitants re- 
siding in this north part of Meriden were considered 
citizens of Wallingford, subject to its laws, privileges 
and burthens, but merely those who had applied in 
form for citizenship. We find also on the records sev- 
eral special petitions from individuals residing in this 
same locality, to be allowed to attend public worship in 
the meeting house, and who were by special vote 
permitted to occupy a designated seat, on condition of 
paying a certain annual rent. The citizens of Walling- 
ford, being regularly taxed by town vote for the support 
of religious institutions, had a right as a matter of course 
to seats in the church without any price or rent what- 

It would be tedious to trace out all the transfers of 
land in this neighborhood, after the Indian title was 
extinguished. It may be a matter of some interest how- 
ever, to know some of the principal proprietors and 
residents in the north part of Meriden about the year 
1716. Northward and eastward of West Meriden, lay 
the farm of John Merriam, 1 of Lynn, Mass., who was the 

I " Know all men by these presents, that I John Prout Sen'r, of New 
Haven, and Col. of Conn., Gent., for and in consideration of ye sum of 
Three Hundred and five pounds, current money, to me in hand well and 
truly paid by John Merriam of Wallingford, have sold, granted and C. a 
certain tract or parcel of Land known by ye name of ye Country farme 


ancestor of the numerous families of that name still 
residing here. He bought three hundred acres for 
^305. More northerly lay the farm of Bartholomew 
Foster, of three hundred and fifty acres, which seems to 
have been west of the present old road, and northward 
as far as the Kensington road. 1 

North of this was the land of Henry Coles, called the 
" Coles farm," extending east of Bartholomew Foster, so 
as to reach the land of John Merriam. 2 North of the 
Coles farm was the land of Natheniel Roys ; and still 
farther northward was the Belcher farm, which, or on 
which was the place called Meriden. The documents 
give us some information as to the residents in this part 
of the town, at that period. We derive some additional 

formerly granted to James Bishop of New Haven, by the Governor and 
Company of ye said Colony of Conn, containing three hundred Acres 
Abutting south on ye old line of Wallingford Township, North on ye 
Coles farm, East on a brook, or land formerly Mr. William Jones Esq., 
west on commons or land of late years laid out to sundry persons of ye 
said town of Wallingford, situate lying and being the wilderness at a place, 
commonly called Pilgrim's Harbor northward of Wallingford old bounds 
and 51-2 Acres of hoop land, situated in Wallingford, aforesaid nere ye 
said farm be ye same more or less, formerly belonging to Robert and 
Isaac Roys, as witnesseth my hand at New Haven, this 3 day of Novem- 
ber in the year 1716. John Prout. 

Mary Prout" 

1 "Sept. 19, 1710: Thomas Yale, John Merriam and Thomas Hall, 
committe of Wallingford, to sell Indian lands, grant to Bartholomew 
Foster, the Town right to a certain Tract of land of 360 Acres, situated 
between Pilgrim's Harbor and Merredan, bounded on ye N. E. corner by 
a Black Oak tree, thence by the road that goeth to Hartford 207 Rods to 
W Oak tree, thence westward 312 Rods to a Black oak tree, that side 
bounds by land of Mr. John Hudson, thence Northwardly 1 12 to a Bl'k 
oak tree, thence 120 Rods to a Walnut tree, thence on a line to the first 
station 266 Rods." 

2 " At meriden farme, march the 12, 1708, the proprietors of goodman 
Cools farme met to decide about the boundaries." 


knowledge of the inhabitants, as well as of their situa- 
tion, from the following paper copied from the original 
petition, now on file in the office of the Secretary of 
State, at Hartford: 

" To the Honorable the Governor and council and house 
of reprefentatives in General Cort affembled in his Majefties 
colony of Connecticut att New Haven, Oct. 8, 1724. The 
Humble petition of the Subscribers Humbly Sheweth, That 
we are under great disadvantages for want of a Pound nere 
y e Meriden or Stone House and are compelled to drive 
unruly cattell nere 6 or 9 miles to y e nearest pound, which if 
we had one nere it would save us a Great Deal of treble, and 
we would carry the marks and brands of those Cattell im- 
pounded where the law directs, to the next towns unless the 
Honorable Affembly, would pleafe to Conflitute a man 
among us to Depose of unruly Creatures as the law directs. 
Therefore your Humble Petitioners Pray that there may be 
order for a Pound nere y e Meriden, or Stone House, and an 
office to Despose of impounded Cattell, and your Petitioners 
as in duty bound will Ever Pray. 

" Signed, 








While the whole country was in alarm and peril 
from the Indians, during Phillip's war, no settlements 
were made beyond the bounds of the compact little 
village, where the planters had clustered together for 
mutual protection ; though some land which was " in the 
wilderness," was granted out at that time. But after 


the termination of that war, we find the records full of 
grants of wild land in distant parts of Wallingford, to 
actual settlers, some of which were within the present 
southern limits of our town. At a General Court for 
the town of New Haven, April 23, 1660, 

" The governor desired that the bounds of a p'cell of land 
towards Conne&icote might be sett out for the p r vention of 
future differences that might otherwise arise betwixt us, w ch 
motion was approved, and thereupon it was ordered y l Mr. 
Yale, W" Andrews, John Cowper, John Brackett, Nathaniel 
Merriman, w th the help of Montowees, an Indian, y e late 
pprieto r shall set out the bownds w th lasting markes, w ch is 
to be done w th the first convenyence.'" 

The setting out of these bounds occasioned a letter, 
which, in the handwriting of Daniel Clarke, Secretary, 
is found among the State Records at Hartford, 2 and 
which contains the first notice that is found recorded of 
" Pilgrim's Harbor." This letter complained of encroach- 
ments on the Connecticut Colony by those grants of 
lands at and above Pilgrim's Harbor, and that it was 
not a course 

" Furthering and strengthining y* friendly correspondency 
that we desire, and ought to be ppetuated twixt neighbours 
and confederates." 3 

1 New Haven Town Records, 11.316. 

2 Foreign Correspondence, 1 1 . Doc. 4. 

3 " Honor'd Gent : This Court haveing receaved information, not only by 
what appeares in one of yo'r Lawes respect : the purchase of land from ye 
Indians, wherin there is a seeminge challeng of very large intrests of lands, 
and likewise by what intelligence we have had of y'or strechting y'or 
bounds vp towards vs, by makeing trees on this side Pilgroomes Harbour, 
w'ch things, as ye intrench upon o'r intrest, soe they are not satisfying or 
contentful, nor do we appr'hend it a course furthering or strengthining yt 
friendly correspondency that we desire, and ought to be ppetuated twixt 


At a General Assembly held at Hartford, October 
1 1 , i 666, 

"This Court orders Edward Higby for making and main- 
teineing the way over Pilgrums Harbour passable for man & 
horse, shall have his estate & farme free of Countrey [rates] 
for this yeare and next, he mainteineing the way soe longe as 
aforesaid." .... 1684. "This Court being informed of a 
small tract of waste land, lying between a farme granted 
formerly to Mr. Wm. Joanes Esq 1 ' of New Haven lying upon 
or near Pilgrim's Harbo r , and a farm granted to Mr. Samuel 
Street of Wallingford, the sayd waste land being about one 

neighbours and confederates ; espetially in that we conceave you cannot 
be ignorant of our real and true right to those parts of ye countrey where 
you are seated, both by conquest, purchase and possession ; and tho : 
hitherto we have bin silent, and altogether forborne to make any absolute 
challenge to or owne, as before, yet now we see a necessitie at least to re- 
vive ye memoriall of o'r rite and interes, and therefore doe desire that there 
may [be] a cessation of further proceed in this nature, vntil, vpon mature 
consideration, there may be a determinate settlement and mutuall concur- 
rence twtxt yo'rselves and this collonie, in reference to ye deviding bounds 
twixt the two colonies. It is further desired and requestd by vs, that if 
there [be] any thing extant on record w'th you yt may further ye [de]ciding 
this matter, that it may be produced, and that there may be a time and 
place appointed, where some deputed for yt end, furnished w'th full power, 
may meet, yt [so a] loving issue may be effect'd to prevent furth [er tro] 
ubles. And in case there be noe record of grant or allowance from this 
collony, respecting the surrend'r, not only of lands possessed by you and 
improved, but also such lands as it seemes to vs that you, vnd'r some 
pr'tended or assumed right, have induced by yo'r bounds w'thin yo'r liber- 
ties, that you would be pleased to consid'r on some speedy course, wherby 
a compliance and condescendency to what is necessary and convenient, for 
yo'r future comforte may be obtained from vs, the true proprietors of these 
parts of countrey. We desire yo'r returne to o'r gen'll Court, in reference 
to o'r proposit's, with what convenient speed may be, y't soe what is de- 
sired by vs in point of mutuall and neigbourly correspondenc, according to 
ye rules of justice and rightiousnes, may be stil maintained and continued." 
At a Court of Election, held May, 1661, the governor, deputy governor, 
the magistrates, with Messrs. John Davenport, George Hubbard, and Lieu- 
tenant John Nash were appointed a committee " for the treating with & is- 
sueingof any seeming differance betwixt them, and of some seeming right 
to this jurisdiction, which they pretend in a letter sent to this Gen'll Courtt." 


hundred acres more or less, doe grant to the sayd Mr. Wm. 
Joanes as an addition to his sayd farm the sayd corner of 
land, to be layd out to him by Mr. Thomas Yale." 

Oct. 12, 1715, six acres of land were granted to 
Jonathan Atwater at "pilgrims harbour." In May, 1742, 
some persons in Middletown petitioned for unappropri- 
ated lands near Pilgrim Harbor, which petition was 
refused. 1 Some of the earliest grants of land were in 
and around a swamp called " Dog's Misery." It had 
acquired the name from the fact that wild animals, when 
hunted, took refuge in this swamp, which was so thick, 
tangled and miry, that the dogs of the hunters were 
baffled or killed in their attempts to reach their prey hid- 
den in this jungle. This swamp is that tract of low 
land (now partly reclaimed), and swamp, lying south of 
the Middletown turnpike, and south of the house of Mr. 
Warren Parsons, extending nearly a mile in a southerly 
direction. In 1679, 

" The town granted to Nathaniel Royce, David Hall, Thomas 
Hall, Daniel Mix, Joseph Holt, each 3 acres lying on the east 
side of the meadow called dog's misery, by the southward 
branch of Pilgrim's harbor," 

that being the name of the whole stream from its mouth 
up to the pond whence it flows. At the next town 
meeting, Nov., 1679, " granted to Neh. Royce, Isaac Cur- 
tiss, each 3 acres, and Nathaniel How, and Isaac Royce, 
each 2 acres, and all at dog's misery." At still another 
meeting, 1679, there was still another grant of swamp, 
meadow and upland, "about dog's misery," to Yale, 
Curtiss, Royce and others. In 1685, granted to Walter 

i The petitioners were John Bacon, John Bartlett, Samuel Warner, 
Seth Wetmore, Nathaniel Hubbard, John Hubbard, John Dowd and 


Jonson 20 acres, " on long hill toward dog's misery." In 
1683, "granted to Daniel Hooper 12 acres at dog's mis- 
ery." In 1700, the daughter of Nathaniel Royce, had 
" three and a half acres, at dog's misery," as her portion. 
In 1713, was granted to Jeremiah Hull, a tract of land 
"lying at Dog's misery commonly so called." Another 
extract will indicate some quite curious facts, existing at 
that early period. September 1 6, 1707, 

"The towne chose Eliezer peeck, Joshua culver, David Hall, 
a commetie to see that [dogs] missery hiway may not be 
pinsht of the twenty rods in any place from the town to mis- 
serie whare it was not laid out before the graint was of s d 

This enormous allowance for a road was not uncom- 
mon in those days, as there are several other notices in 
the records, of roads of the like width. Still oftener the 
records speak of highways six rods wide. It is quite 
evident too, that the special care of the town to preserve 
the prodigious width of "missery hiway," shows the 
importance and growth of the settlement in that quarter. 
It had long been the custom of the early settlers to use 
the highways for raising tobacco, and it finally became 
a subject of complaint ; so that in 1693 4 the town of 
Wallingford forbade any person improving any part of the 
town streets or commons by fencing, raising tobacco, 
corn, or anything else. 

Whether these persons settled around Dog's Misery 
at the precise date of these grants, we do not know ; but 
there is evidence that they were there soon after. For 
as early as 1696, there was great contention about lands, 
among the owners of property at Dog's Misery, which 
plainly indicates that the lands about there were con- 
sidered valuable, and that the place was inhabited. The 


party spirit ran high, bad feelings were engendered, and 
recourse was had to the courts. It appears that the 
beginning of the trouble was owing to certain persons 
appropriating land which had already been granted to 
others. In 1677, at a town meeting, it was voted to 
reserve a certain watering place for the use of cattle and 
neighbors adjacent, the watering place being near the 
property of Nathaniel Royce. After some years Mr. 
Royce claimed the land and watering place as his 
property. A committee were appointed to determine 
whether the land and watering place belonged to the 
town or to Ensign Royce. Nothing further was heard 
of this question until March 16, 1696, when the follow- 
ing petition was brought before the town : 

Wallingford, March i6 th , 1696. 

"We whose names are underwritten being in some mesure 
sencable of y e mezefy of Contention & y l there is too much 
of it in our Town & one part of it is about dogs mezery which 
may hazard Charg to y e Town if not timely prevented allso y e 
watering-place so Called between Capt. yaile & Enn Royss 
has been A great part of our strife for A great while which 
for y e preventing of both troble and Charg upon y ( account 
or at least to secure ourselves therefore declare as followeth 
y l for our parts wee enter our descents against any Charg at 
law about doggs mezery, as for y watering place so Called 
we are sattisfied y* Ens Roys Enjoy y e land y l y e Town has 
granted him & doe hereby declare our desent from any voat 
to y e Contrary or any vote y l may hereafter be gained by y e 
Town or any parties for y e suing out y e Towns or any pertic- 
ular mans Rights declareing to y world y' we will be at no 
Charge for time to Come about doggs mezery nor y- 
watering place & y l such y' Cannot find no other way to 
raise their own spirits but to spend their Estates shall spend 
of their own Estates & not of ours. 












SAM H ROYS, sen r , JOHN PARKER, sen 1 '. 

DAVID HALL, JOHN Moss, juneor." 

On the 28th of April, 1696, the following was pre- 
sented to the town : 

" Whereas it has been often moved to y e town that Ensign 
Royce might have y e Watering place, at y e lower end of his 
home lot, or pasture, but hitherto has been opposed, y town 
do now sequester said watering place to lye open to the com- 
mon highway for ever, never to be desposed of any other way 
unless every inhabitant of y e town do subscribe to the con- 
trary, y e which we underftand be y e true intent of y e selectmen 
when they received it and y e mind of y e town, received it for 
the use of cattle and good of y e neighbors adjacent against 
y e above said Watering place Should lye open for the above 
said use forever as may appear by their act in y e town book 
April 24, 1677. The town do by their vote order and ap- 
poynt Eleazer Peck surveyor with one or too of y c Townsmen 
to lay out said land and Watering place and cause a Record 
made of it in y u Leger Book, of y e bounds of it and Capt. Yale, 
or Ens. Royce pay the cost out of it. They also voted that 
if the said Royce still neglects or detains record restitution of 
said Watering place y e which y e said Roice solemnly promised 
to do, in y e Leger Book of Wallingford, then the town do here- 
by appoint Capt. Yale to be our atturney, and Lawful Trustee 
to sue said Royce, at law for our right, to receive estimation 
of y e same." 


Lieutenant Samuel Hall and William Ebenatha dis- 
sented from the above vote. Thus after a long contest 
Mr. Royce was compelled to surrender to the town all 
right to the watering place. 

At a General Court, held May, 1696, 

" M r Rich rd Edwards as atturney for Isaac Curtis of Wal- 
lingford petitioned this Court to grant the said Curtis execution 
upon a verdict of jury given at the countie court at Newhaven 
the second Munday in Novemb r one thousand six hundred 
and ninetie five in an action depending in the said Court 
between the s d Curtis and M r John Hull of the said town of 
Wallingford, which action the said Curtis comenced against 
the said Hull for that the said Hull had illegally entred upon 
and made improvement of three ac rs and 3 quarters of med- 
dow in a place called Dogs Miserie which is the proper 
estate of the plaintiff, to a surrendrie of the s d meddow with 
ten pound damages and cost of Court, in which case the jury 
find for the plaintiff the case and cost of court. This Court 
doe see reason and order that there shall be execution 
granted upon the said verdict of the iurie. May 1697 it was 
voted and granted by this Court that Capt" Thomas Yale of 
Wallingford should have liberty to renew his former suit in 
which he was atturney for Doctor John Hull in a controversie 
between Isaac Curtis and the s l1 John Hull about a piece of 
meddow at a place called Dogs Misery in the said town of 
Wallingford, notwithstanding any former act of the Gen 11 
Court. Giving the said Curtis sufficient notice thereof." 

From the time of the first settlement onward, popula- 
tion slowly increased around " Dog's Misery" and 
" Pilgrim's Harbor." In 1724, the whole number of 
families on and around these localities was thirty-five. 
Contemporaneous with the " plantations" around " Dog's 

i 5 s. paid for the petition. Execution delivered to Isaac Curtis. Col. 
Rec. 4, 165. 


Misery," the settlements began to cieep up into the 
western and southwestern parts of the present limits of 
Meriden. As early as September, 1677, it was 

" Ordered allso that every planter now in hering shall have 
according to theyr Ranks 4 acrs, 3 acrs, and 2 acrs of the 
choyse Land upon the River hopp ground land, beginning att 
pillgrim's harbor, and what that plais doth not aford they are 
to please themselves ellswheare." 

February u, 1684, there was granted to John 

" Four acres of hopp Land upon pillgrim's harbor on both 
sides the river bounded on y e north by y e Common, on y e 
East by Samuell Brockett, on y e south by y e Common, on y e 
west by John Moss senior." 

February 4, 1684, was granted to John Moss senior, 

" 4 acres of hopp Land Lying a Cros pillgrim's harbor 
brook bounded on y e southward Side by me John Brockett 
his Land, on y e northward side by John Lothny his Land, 
on Both sides by towne Common." 

March 15, 1689, 

" Two acres of hopp Land lying around Pilgrim's 

August 23, 1698, 

" 3 acres of hopp land on y e west branch of pillgrim 

In 1708, there was granted to 

" Daniel Messenger, wax drawer, fore acres of hop Land 
so called at a place commonly called pilgram's Harbor." 

This "hopp ground land" was that which produced 
the materials for making hoops. Such land, though 
swampy, was then the most valuable in the town. For 
in the great scarcity of a circulating medium, and of 


means for purchasing all foreign produce, these hoops 
and staves always found a great demand, and a ready sale 
in the West Indies. Of course our farmers in trading 
with the New Haven merchants, found these hoop-poles 
as useful as cash. Accordingly we find in the records 
of the town that these " hopp ground lands," were most 
carefully managed, were granted out in very small quan- 
tities, and in the various grants recorded each man was 
very careful that a piece of this precious land should 
be included in his farm. In the year 1676, a farm was 
granted to Levi Fowler, as part "compensation" for 
building a mill. This was at the place which we now 
call " the Farms." Sixty acres were granted to him, and 
are thus described : 

"The north stake to be pitched 10 rods to the north-ward 
of the brook, commonly called, Milking yard brook, as you 
go between Wallingford and Hartford, 1 and in the middle way 
between the mouth of said brook and the old path ; and so 
to run a straight line southward so as to cut the edge of the 
red bank by the east river so called 2 at the utmost part east- 
ward, and so from the northern stake westward 120 rods, and 
so to hold his depth on the south side." 

This land would be very nearly that which constitutes 
the farm of Mr. Wyllys Smith. 3 Near and around this 

1 This is the brook which the old road crosses at the lower end of 
the present district, and so called, because cattle were of old there 
driven into a pen to be milked. 

2 This red bank is the little spur or projection around which the rail- 
road sweeps, just before it passes the high stone viaduct or culvert over 
the turnpike. 

3 Yalesville, Sept. 27, 1686, Committee to locate mill on the river. 
Sept. 29, 1686, Voted to move the mill. Oct. 3, 1688, Land about the 
mill sequestered. Dec. 27, 1687, Committee to see the Miller and pro- 
cure a canoe to cross the river, at the mill. Jan. 21, 1689, Grinding at 


farm, other settlers soon located themselves. At a town 
meeting, December 16, 1679, 

" The Towne agreed & voated y l y e land about y e milking 
yard and on y e north side y c Brooke at y e head of y e little 
plaine which was formerly designed for that end be viewed 
and provision made for the settling planters as they shall 

This "little plain" was the upper part of the present 
"farm district." It was called little plain, in distinction 
from "fall's plain," or "the plain," which is the locality 
we now term Hanover. The same year, 

" The towne yielded to exchange with Sam'l Royce, the 3 
acrs of his land att y e uper end of little plain, for 3 acrs 
of y e swamp, in y e middle of said plaine joining to Good 11 

In another grant to this Samuel Royce, this same 
spot is called " milkin yard farms," as bounded south by 
milking yard brook, and west by milking yard hill. 
Also in 1679, 

" The town granted to Good" Lewes 3 acres of y e swamp 
that lieth about middle of y e little plains." 

At the same time, 

"The towne granted Tho. Yale 3 acres of swamp land, 
joining to his two acrs that was formerly granted for mend- 
ment of his river lott att the loer end of y e little plaine." 

In the year 1677, there was a grant of land to Nehe- 
miah Royce and Samuel Royce, of some land "at the 
head of the plains," which is another phrase by which 
Hanover was then designated. A very natural phrase ; 
for at that point, the stretch of level land which extends 

mill regulated. July, 22, 1695, " If Samuel Lorthrop grinds every mans 
corn well he may keep the mill two months longer, but will be turned out 
on complaint of the committee forthwith." 


from New Haven, through North Haven and Walling- 
ford, terminates. In 1680 a grant was made " to Sam'l 
Hough, to settle on the head of the plain near to 
Nehemiah Royces." In 1689 this " head of the plain," 
or "falls plain," was considered so beautiful a spot, that 
it was regularly laid out for a village. The main street 
was to be eighty rods long, and on each side of it were 
staked out building lots ; the western lots extending to 
the hill, and the eastern ones to the river. These lots 
were assigned by raffle, each planter in the town of Wall- 
ingford being allowed to draw one lot. The main street 
of this contemplated village must have been nearly if not 
quite coincident with the street now in existence, run- 
ning north and south. The street however, as then laid 
out, was continued northward to the river. 

"Art a lawful towne meetin 19 Febrary, 1689-90, the towne 
voted y l falls plaine shall be cast lots for & laid out accord- 
ing to the above written .... & mape. The Lotts being 
Cast each mans Lbtt is as followeth 






SAM" ROYSE, 33, SAM U HULL, 03, 






JOHN PARKER, 01, JOHN HALL, senr. 60, 

SAM" COOK, senr. 28, THO CURTIS, 58, 





SAM U COOK, jun. 15, 



2 3, 






SAM H ANDREWS, jun. 57, 














In 1694, several grants of land were made to John 
Peck at " falls plains." The residents in the north part 
of the town found it very inconvenient to go to Walling- 
ford to attend church, also town and freeman's meet- 
ings ; and several petitions were sent to the General 
Assembly requesting permission to become a separate 
town, or be annexed to other towns nearer to them than 
Wallingford. At a town meeting held in Wallingford, 
May 17, 1773, the question was put whether the town 
would choose an agent or agents, to represent said town 
at the General Assembly to act on the memorial of the 
society of Worthington, by their agent Jedediah Norton, 
petitioning that the land called the Belcher farm, in the 
society of Meriden, and the inhabitants included thereon, 


might belong and be annexed to the county of Hartford 
and town of Farmington.' 

It was voted in the affirmative that they would ap- 
point an agent, and chose Macock Ward to represent 
the town in reference to the memorial. In May, 1786, 
the following petition was sent to the General Assembly : 

" The Petition of the Inhabitants of the Parish of Meriden 
hi the Town of Wallingford and County of New Haven, hum- 
bly sheweth : That from the Court House in New Haven, the 
Southern part of Said parish is Distant about Seventeen 
Miles, and the Northern part of it Twenty three ; and from 
the Court House in Midclletown in the County of Middlesex, 
the eastern limmits of S d parish is Distant but about five 
miles and its Western limmits about Eleven ; and from the 
Southern part of said Parish to the Town is four miles, and 
from the northern part about eleven. That the List of Said 
parish is about .8000. And in attending upon the Ordinary 
Business of the Town, Proxys, Town Meetings, &c., and 
upon their Business at the County and Superior Courts, the 
Inhabitants of S d parish are subjected to great trouble, in- 
convenience & expence, from which they would be free'd, if 
constituted a Distinct Town, and annexed to the County of 
Middlesex. Wherefore your petitioners pray your Honors to 
take their case into your wise and equitable Consideration & 
enact, that S d parish of Meriden be Constituted a Distinct 
Town by the name of the town of Meriden, and included in, 
and made part of the County of Middlesex, and that the S d 
Inhabitants have all the rights and privileges usual apper- 
taining to Towns in this State, except the right of Sending 
two Representatives to the General Assembly, instead of 

I About 1640, some of the first and most enterprising citizens of Hart- 
ford purchased a tract of land from the Tunxis Indians, and commenced a 
settlement at a place about ten miles west of the city. This settlement 
was incorporated in 1645, when it was called Farmington. The town- 
ship was about fifteen miles square, and out of it have sprung the towns 
of Southington, Berlin, Bristol, Burlington and Avon. 


which your petitioners request the privilege of but one, and 
your petitioners, as in Duty bound will ever pray &c. Dated 
at Meriden in the Town of Wallingford the 13 th day of 
April, A. D. 1786. 


SAM" WHITING, ^ Agents in behalf of the Society." 


At a special town meeting held in Wallingford, May 9, 
1 786, it was voted that they would oppose the parish of 
Meriden being a town, and chose Col. Street Hall as 
agent to remonstrate against the petition at the General 
Assembly. 1 In 1794, the town was petitioned again 
that the parish of Meriden might be set off as a distinct 
town and annexed to Middlesex county ; and at a special 
town meeting the votes of the parish of Meriden ap- 
pointing Captain Dan. Collins, Capt. Ezekiel Rice, Col. 
Asa Bray, Brenton Hall and Samuel Whiting a commit- 
tee to transact said business being read, the meeting 
adjourned to October 12, 1795. Samuel Woodruff and 
Caleb Atwater were appointed agents to attend the 
General Assembly, and were intended to oppose the 
petition of the parish of Meriden ; and in order to satisfy 
the inhabitants of the parish, a committee were appoint- 
ed to consider the subject of holding town, selectmen's 
and freeman's meetings one third of the time at Meriden ; 
and who reported, 

I At a town meeting held in Wallingford, April 8, 1793, "Chose Street 
Hall, Dan. Collins, Ezekiel Rice a committee to agree with the Town of 
Berlin in perambulating the line where the Belcher Farm, so called lies 
and exchange said farm or such part of it for an equivalent in Land 
belonging to said Berlin to be annexed to this town or make any other 
agreement as shall appear to said committee most conclusive to the Inter- 
est of this Town." 


" That in our opinion it is highly reasonable and expedient 
and likely to unite the two Societies together and prevent a 
separation also taking into our consideration the disagreeable- 
ness that the said society of Meriden hath ever been under 
in attending Town and Freemans Meetings, we therefore 
think it reasonable that one third part of the Town and 
Selectmens meetings for the future and also one third part of 
the Freemans Meetings when liberty is obtained as above 
mentioned should be holden in said Society, of Meriden." 
" Signed, 




The report was accepted with the proviso that the ex- 
pense attending the application to the General Assembly 
for carrying this report into effect "be born and defrayed 
wholly by the Parish of Meriden." But the inhabitants 
of the parish of Meriden were determined to be set 
apart as a separate town ; and again in 1803 a petition 
was sent to the town, and at a town meeting held in 
September of the same year, the question was put 
whether the inhabitants of the town of Wallingford 
exclusive of the Parish of Meriden would consent that 
the said parish of Meriden be separated from the said 
town of Wallingford, and constituted and incorporated 
a separate and distinct town ; and on being submitted to 
the meeting, exclusive of the inhabitants of Meriden, it 
was voted in the negative. In 1804, another petition 
was sent to the town of Wallingford in regard to the 
separation and incorporation of Meriden as a distinct 
town ; and it was voted to choose a committee of equal 
numbers from the first society of the parish of Meriden 
to confer on the said petition. The Wallingford 
committee were Aaron Andrews, Caleb Atwater, Aaron 


Hall, and Hezekiah Hall. From Meriden were chosen 
John Pluymert, Benjamin A. Hall, Amasa Curtis, and 
Samuel Yale. On September 9, 1805, a joint committee 
from each society were appointed to confer on the 
subject, and at a town meeting held September 18, 1805, 
the report of the committee was read and duly con- 

"Thereupon it was voted that this Meeting do accept and 
approve of the same, and that said report be lodged in the 
Town Clerks Office." 

A petition signed by Phineas Lyman and other 
inhabitants of Wallingford was sent to the General 
Assembly which met at Hartford the second Thursday 
in May, 1806, showing that the parish of Meriden in 
said town constituted in extent, population and property 
more than one third part of the town of Wallingford, 
and that they did not in their present situation enjoy 
their just rights to which they were entitled in common 
with their fellow citizens, and praying that the parish 
might be incorporated, with the ordinary rights, 
privileges and immunities which were enjoyed by 
other towns in the State. The petitioners were heard, 
and the facts stated in the petition were fully proved 
to be true, and it was resolved by the Assembly that 

" The inhabitants living within the limits of the parish of 
Meriden be and they are hereby incorporated into and made 
a Town by the name of Meriden." 

The first town meeting was held in Meriden after its 
incorporation, on the third Monday in June, 1806, at 
one o'clock P. M., and the town officers elected. The 
following list of "North Farmers," is taken from the 
Wallingford records, and from records in the office of 
the Secretary of State at Hartford : 








It is difficult at the present day to imagine the im- 
mense difficulties our fathers had to undergo in traveling 
from one town to another. Over mountains, through 
swamps, across rivers, fording, or upon rafts, with the 
compass to point out their irregular way, now in the 
open space of the forest, where the sun looked in ; 
now under the shade of the old trees ; now struggling 
through the entanglement of bushes and vines, with 
perhaps a "bridle path" cut out through the trees. 
Wherever a road had been built it was little better than 
none at all. 


" No line or compass traced its plan ; 
With frequent bends to left or right, 
In aimless, wayward curves it ran." 

From Hartford to New Haven it was a good two days' 
journey ; the old stone house on the Belcher farm, and 
Wallingford, being the usual stopping places. There 
being no mails 1 or newspapers, every traveler on his 
arrival was instantly besieged with townspeople, inquis- 
itive for the most recent intelligence. " He tells them 
perhaps that a letter was received in Hartford but a 

I The Post Office system was first established in Connecticut in 1693, 
by special authority from the king. The mail went through the Colony 
from Boston to New York, once every week. The postage from Boston 
to Hartford was 9</. In December, 1672, Governor Lovelace of the col- 
ony of New York, issued a proclamation "for the more speedy Intelligence 
and Dispatch of Affayres," that on the first of January following, a sworn 
messenger would start from New York for Boston, and accomplish the 
journey there and back, within the month. Persons who had letters or 
"small portable goods" for Hartford or Boston, must lodge them at the 
secretary's office by a given day. The post was to be paid before the 
" bagg bee seald up." In 1674, "the court being made sensible of the 
great damage that might accrue to the publique, by a liberty or boldness 
which some persons may take to themselves (when employed by order of 
authority for the conveyance of letters, post and other important occasions 
of this colony) by profuse and extravigent spending at the ordinaries and 
other places on the road upon the countryes account," ordered that the 
allowance of those persons employed, from the first of May to the middle 
of October, from New Haven to -Hartford, the horse hire to be five 
shillings, and the man and expenses eight shillings sixpence. From 
Wallingford to Hartford, the horse hire four shillings, and the man and 
expenses six shillings. From the middle of October to last of April, to be 
eight pence more than the above, for every night they lie out. When 
post offices and post roads were first established in America, the great 
route from Boston to New York was through New London, which was 
then reckoned no miles from Boston, and 156 from New York. By-act 
of Parliament in 1710, New London was made the chief Post Office in 
Connecticut. ( This act can be found in the Mass. Hist. Coll., 3rd series, 
vol. 7, p. 71). The postage from New London to Wallingford was four- 



week before he left, which had been brought through 
from Boston in three days. In this letter was the latest 
intelligence from Europe. The ' Seabird,' after a quick 
passage of two months, had brought the news of the 
death of Charles the Second, and the accession of 
James, four months ago. He gives them the latest 
account of the elections in Massachusetts and Plymouth, 
which took place three weeks previous, and adds a few 
items about the state of the Indians, and the arrivals of 
emigrants." Contrast that journey with the railroad 
which connects nearly every town and village, and by 
which a daily exchange of their inhabitants takes place, 
by which, as it were, two huge rivers of living beings 
are flowing side by side in opposite directions. The 
rivers and lakes have been made navigable, harbors 
cleared, bordered by docks and quays, and indented by 
piers ; the inland districts are intersected by high roads 
and canals, and a net-work of railways ; which but a 
short time since was the lonely and scarcely traceable 
foot-path, the region of desolation, and the haunt of the 
wild beast and savage. If a survey be taken of the 
various nations of the earth, it will doubtless be found 
that the most prominent feature which distinguishes the 
regions of civilization from those of the savage, and in- 
dicates the march of improvement, is the general facility 
for communication. 

At a General Court held at Hartford in October, 1684, 
it was voted that 

"Whereas there is a great neglect found in mayntaining of 
the high wayes 1 between towne and towne, the wayes being 

i The various highways were laid out as follows : 1670, the roads in the 
village of Wallingford, and the " old Colony road ;" 1672, Highways con- 
sidered ; 1679, Highway over river ordered ; 1692, Highway over river; 


incumbred with dirty slowes, bushes, trees and stones, &c., 
this Court doe therefore order that each plantation 
within this colony shall forthwith take sufficient care that the 
highwayes stated between townes be well amended from such 
defects and so kept from time to time, .... especilly the 
high wayes or road from Hartford to New Haven, etc." 

On the 1 5th day of December, 1693, the town em- 
powered Ensign Royce to call out some men to assist 
him in laying out a highway to Haddam. This is 
probably the road which passes through " Reed's gap," 
in the north-eastern part of the town. In May, 1766, 
Messrs. John Yale, John Basset, Timothy Foster, Yale 
Bishop, Samuel Andrews, Jr., Jonathan Foster, and 
Jonathan Collins, petitioned the General Assembly that 

committee appointed; 1693, Twenty rod highway between Daniel Mix 
and Joshua Culver's land ; 1694, Highway at Broad Swamp ; 1696, High- 
way to Saw-mill ; 1697, John Parker and John Hitchcock appointed to see 
what highways are needed to the Fresh Meadows, and Mill River ; and 
Samuel Brockett and John Beach to see what are needed between Pond 
Hill and Muddy River. A twenty rod highway from Falls plain to Stoney 
River, also from Mathew Howe's to Stoney River, ten rods wide; A 
highway past Simon Tuttle's to ye Saw Mill ; 1700, This year the road 
to Dog's Misery was made, twenty rods wide, also a highway to the saw 
mill ; also a two rod road between Isaac Curtis and Daniel Mix, between 
Dr. Hull's land ; 1702, two highways on the west side of the river, one by 
Benj. Hull's, and one to run westward to the south side of Broad Swamp, 
the other at the north side of said swamp ; A highway from the middle 
bridge, now near Humiston's, past Goodman Beacher's farm, to the east 
side of the west rocks, two rods wide for " footmen and horses saddled." 
This road ran to Cheshire, nearly a mile south of the village ; Highway to 
John Cook's and Joseph Mix's ; This is the old south road to the south 
part of Cheshire ; Two draft ways on the west side of the river, by Benj. 
Hull's, one on the south side, and one on the north side of Broad Swamp ; 
April 22, a highway adjoining New Haven line from the river, west- 
ward, five rods wide. This old highway is on the south side of the 
Blue Hills, and north of Quinnipiac factory. It runs past the late resi- 
dence of Eliasaph Munson to Cheshire, terminating at West Rock on 
the mountain near Bethany; 1707, highway from Long Hill to New 
Haven line. 


the road from Hartford to New Haven where it passes 
through Meriden from the " upper line of Belchers old 
farm, as the most northerly part of S'd Town of Walling- 
ford, down as far in the Sd town as the plain so called " 
be widened, as it was so narrow in some places as to be 
very difficult of passage, the road being originally forty 
rods wide. The present Hartford and New Haven 
turnpike which passes through the center of the town, 
was completed in 1800. The inhabitants of Walling- 
ford strenuously opposed the laying out of the turnpike, 
but when it was completed it was considered a vast, 
wonderful and curious work ; and people came to see it, 
as they afterwards flocked to see the first railroad. 
Until the year 1802, there was not a single road in town 
that was made by being rounded from the center to the 
sides, in the manner of a turnpike, and as our roads are 
all now made. They were more frequently lower than 
the sides, by continual wear, and washing of the rains, 
rather than raised above them. There can be little 
doubt that we find in this fact, the reason for laying out 
roads of the enormous width of six and even twenty 
rods. For as one track became worn, full of ruts, and 
sunk below the surface, the traveler could find sufficient 
room to pick out for himself another and still another 
track, yet fresh and unworn, in the broad space of one 
hundred, or three hundred feet reserved for a highway. 
As there were few laborers and plenty of land, this mode 
of working the roads was cheaper than the modern 
process of laboriously constructing one good, rounded 
track. As to the comfort of the traveler there could 
not be much question. 

The ancient bridge at Humiston's mill was originally 
situated nearly seventy rods down the river, from where 


it is now, and the road up the hill was a little to the 
north of the bridge, coming out near the house recently 
owned by Joel Camp ; the abutments of the bridge are 
visible to this day. The bridge now called " Horsford's 
bridge," was at first built several rods down the stream, 
from its present location, and was not changed until the 
present century. The bridge at Yalesville on the east 
and west road was originally built nearly where it now is, 
and those on the old turnpike were built by the turn- 
pike company about the year 1800. In 1672, it was 
voted in regard to the bridge at the " Pines," that Wal- 
lingford and New Haven agree jointly to maintain the 
said bridge. January 31, voted that the making of the 
bridge over Wharton's brook, shall be paid by the town. 
December 24, voted that Samuel Andrews, Samuel 
Munson, Nathaniel Roice, Thomas Curtis, and Benjamin 
Lewis be a committee to view the place and decide 
where a bridge could be most conveniently built over 
the river. Where they located the bridge does not 
appear; but the presumption is that it was in North 
Haven, just west of the centre of the village, at a place 
then called the Pines ; as that bridge was supported 
jointly by New Haven and Wallingford for many years. 
November 26, 1695, a bridge was ordered to be built at 
" Goats pains," or at Sergt. Doolittle's cart-way, or some 
place between them for carts. December 30, 1695, a 
bridge was built at the mill, by Eleazer Peck. This is 
at what is now Yalesville, east of the factory, hear the 
residence of the late Charles Cook and Roswell Yale. 

The mode of traveling was usually by horseback ; and 
it was not until 1789 that the first wagon was brought 
into Meriden. It was owned by Mr. Ezra Rice. It was 
of a very rude construction, being simply a square 


framed box placed on four wheels, drawn by two horses, 
with ropes for traces, and cords for the guiding or 
driving lines. Yet it was then thought to be a very 
elegant establishment. Previous to that time, there had 
never been owned in the town, but three two-wheel 
carriages, being very rude, awkward chaise bodies or 
uncovered seats hung on two wheels, in the manner of 
our modern chaise. The bridegroom who went to a 
neighboring town to be united with a partner whom he 
hoped to find through life a " help meet for him," 
whether he was gentlemen or yeoman, rode on horse- 
back, and carried her home on a pillion behind him. 

In 1835, a petition was presented to the legislature, 
asking for a charter to construct a railway from Hart- 
ford to New Haven. The petition was eventually 
granted. The most prominent persons in the matter 
were the Hon. James Brewster of New Haven, Maj. 
Elisha A. Cowles of Meriden, Richard Hubbard of 
Middletown and Seth J. North of New Britain. Mr. 
Hubbard wanted the line carried farther east, in order 
that Middletown might be on the direct route between 
New York and Boston. Mr. North was naturally de- 
sirous that the line should go farther west, that New 
Britain might profit by it. But Major Cowles, active 
and energetic in everything he took in hand, in con- 
junction with Mr. Brewster succeeded in getting the 
road located where it now is ; so that Meriden came in 
for all the advantages which would otherwise have 
accrued to Middletown or New Britain. The route of 
the Hartford and New Haven railroad had been pointed 
out by Dr. J. G. Percival ; having been determined by 
him during the progress of a geological exploration of 
the larger Secondary formation, previous to his general 


survey of the State. The route throughout is deter- 
mined by the geological arrangement of the country, 
passing in the depression between the eastern and west- 
ern lines of elevation, in the Trap system, to Meriden, 
then in that between the third and fourth eastern main 
range to Berlin. The increase of the western part of 
the town may be dated from that event. 

The great increase of traveling since railways have 
been in use has produced great and material changes in 
society. Many who, but a few years since, scarcely 
penetrated beyond the country in which they happened 
to have been born, are now induced to visit places far 
more remote, from the facility and comfort afforded them 
by railway transit, which enables them to travel over 
thousands of miles with greater personal ease than they 
formerly could over, fifty. The result of this mutual 
communication of facts and ideas must be an improved 
state of society. Great discoveries in science may be 
ranked among the greatest class of natural events, so 
great is their modifying influence on human destiny. 
When considered with respect to its scientific character, 
magnitude, utility, its harmony of arrangement, and me- 
chanical contrivance, what can equal that greatest of 
discoveries the one which most influences human ac- 
tion and happiness the practical applicability of the 
expansibility of water into steam as a motive power. 
Compared to it, how shabby a structure would be the 
celebrated Roman wall, or even the more extensive one 
of the Chinese ; as for the Egyptian pyramids, they, so 
far from being fit to be mentioned in comparison with 
the railway, are merely uncouth monuments of the 
ignorance and superstition of their founders ; woeful 
testimonials of the debasement to priestcraft of the 



wretched slaves who erected them, and are merely evi- 
dences of much physical force, having but little aid from 

science or taste. 





PROBABLY the names of one hundred out of two hun- 
dred and fifty towns in Connecticut, were taken from 
England ; others were derived from some local peculiar- 
ity, or from the name of some prominent person, as 
Chesterfield, Cromwell, Putnam, Ellsworth, Franklin, 
Madison, etc. ; some still retain the old Indian names, 
Naugatuck, Mohegan, Pequonnock, etc., while others are 
taken from towns mentioned in the Bible, as Bethany, 
Bethel, Gilead, Bozrah, Hebron, Bethlehem, etc. The 
name of Wallingford is derived from the Anglo Saxon 
Guall-hen, i. e., "old fortification"; and was anciently 
called Gallena. It is the name of an old town in Eng- 
land, which Leland thus quaintly describes : 

"The town of Wallingford hathbeene a verry notable thing 
and welle waulled. The diche of the town, and the crest 
whereon the waulles stoode be yet manifestly perceyved, and 
begin from the castelle, going in compace, a good mile and 
more, and so cummith to Wallingford bridg, a large thing of 
stone over the Tamise. And by the patentes and donations 
of Edmunde Erie of Cornewaul, and Lord of the House of 
Wallingford, that ther wer 14 Parich Chirchis in Wallingford. 
And ther be men yet alyve that can shew the Places and 


Cemiteries, wher yn the al stoode. At this tyme there be 
but 3 poore Parich Chirches in die town." 1 

The town was formerly surrounded by a wall; the 
castle stood by the river. Camden in his Britannia? 
says, the castle's size and magnificence used to strike 
me with astonishment. 

He believed it to have been built by the Romans, 
afterward destroyed by the Saxons and Danes, and 
rebuilt under William I. 

The name of Wallingford was given to the tract of 
land extending southward from the point where the " old 
road to New Haven goeth over Pilgrim's Harbor, ten 
miles, and to extend five miles each side of the Quinni- 
piock river," in 1670, by some of the planters from New 

The name of Pond Hill is frequently alluded to in 
the early records. This locality is said to derive its 
name from the fact that in the low ground nearly west 
of the old Barker place, exists a pond of water, just 
over the line in North Haven, and adjacent to the range 
of hills ; which fact was no doubt the cause of the name 
being given to that locality. 

Green Swamp and Fresh Meadows, were situated in 
the western and south-western part of the town, and 
bear the names to this day. Happens Brook, is in 
Cheshire, and takes its rise a little to the . southeast of 
the village. Mill River, takes its rise a little west of 
Cheshire, taking a southerly course through the town of 
Hamden, and finds its way into the Sound at New 

1 Itinerary, vol. 2, p. II ; Oxford, 1710. 

2 Vol. I, p. 165. 


Haven. Ridge Hill, is that high ground in the north 
part of Hamden and south eastern part of Cheshire. 
Samerack Swamp, is in the eastern part of Wallingford, 
a little south of the residence of the late Peter Hall. 
Muddy River, takes its rise in the eastern part of 
Meriden, and running south, empties into the Quinnipiac 
in North Haven. Sugar Loaf Hill, is that eminence 
lying between the turnpike and river, just south of 
Humiston's Mills. Clapboard Hill, is that land lying 
east of the residence of Joseph Hough, and north of 
the late residence of Reuben Rice. Broad Swamp, is 
in Cheshire, about two miles west of Yalesville. Long 
Hill, is that range of hills east of Wallingford, running 
south. Tank Hood Road, is the old highway that for- 
merly ran from the village of Wallingford to Clapboard 
hill, past the residence, of the late Reuben Rice and 
Ephraim A. Humiston, to the North Farms road leading 
to Meriden ; this old road is now fenced up in many 
places, by consent of the town. Dr. Russell, an early 
settler, formerly lived on this road. Whartons Brook, 
is the stream east of Wallingford village, running south 
to the river where it empties, just below Doolittle mill. 
This mill was built by a Mr. Munson, and was called 
originally Munson's mill. The first mill ever erected 
in the town was on this stream, just below the village. 
Scotch Rock, is in the south part of Cheshire, a little 
north of the residence of Alonzo Brooks ; and the high 
ground east of the rock was called Scotch hill. The 
rock is very large, running out of the ground nearly 
twenty feet. Whirlwind, is that high land east of the 
late residence of Luther Hall, and west from Pistapaug 
Pond. Totoket Mountains, are easterly from Walling- 
ford to Meriden. 



The place on which our city now stands was called 
"Pilgrim's Harbor," in an Indian deed of 1664. In the 
year 1660, when monarchy was restored in England, 
many who had acted prominently in the revolution, were 
obliged to flee for their lives. Some fled to the conti- 
nent of Europe, some to the American settlements, and 
some were caught and executed as traitors ; and for no 
other crime than that they partook too deeply of the 
same maddening cup that turned even the philosophic 
brain of Milton ; and the remains of some of the princi- 
pal actors in that too fearful tragedy, were treated with 
profane indignities, such as have not since that day 
disgraced the name of English freedom. 1 

Two of these, Edward Whalley and William Goffe, 
in consequence of the rank they had held in the armies 
of the Parliament, and in the commonwealth of England, 
were especially obnoxious to the restored king. They 
arrived at Boston on the 2/th of July 1660; John Dix- 
well came afterwards. As it was not known at that time 
what disposition would be made of them, and as it was 
believed that they would be embraced in the general act 
of indemnity, they were treated by Governor Endicott 
and the other principal gentlemen of Boston, with all 
the marks of respect that were thought to belong to 
men who had filled high places in the government, 
and whose venerable features and soldierly bearing 
comported so well with their high reputation, as eminent 
civilians and military leaders. As soon, however, as it 
was made known in Boston in what light the king 
looked upon the official conduct of these men, and that 

I Camden's Imperial Hist, of England, p. 216. 


they were regarded as traitors, a large share of those 
who had claimed to be their friends, avoided them as if 
they had been infected with some contagious disease.' 

Finding that Endicott had called a court of magis- 
trates to apprehend them and deliver them over to the 
executioner, they took advantage of the friendly dispo- 
sition manifested towards them by some of the Magis- 
trates and fled out of the jurisdiction of that colony, 
and sought a refuge in New Haven among the old and 
tried adherents of Oliver Cromwell. They passed 
through Wallingford on the 26th of March, 1661, and 
the next day arrived in New Haven. Meanwhile the 
royal mandate reached Massachusetts, requiring the 
governor to arrest the fugitives. As soon as the news 
of the king's proclamation reached New Haven, they 
were obliged to abscond ; and were concealed for a time 
in a cave on West Rock, near New Haven, and which 
still bears the name of " Judges' Cave." Their stay in 
this cave was short, however, on account of the wild 
animals who at that time infested the mountains. One 
night as the regicides lay in bed, they saw a panther or 
catamount thrust its head into the mouth of the cave. 
Its blazing eyeballs and unearthly cry so frightened the 
inmates that they fled from the cave. 

They were concealed in various places until October 
13, 1684, when they left Milford, where they had been 
for two years, for Hadley, Mass., then a frontier town, a 
hundred miles from Milford, and so remote from Boston, 
Hartford and New Haven, that it did not seem probable 
that their presence in such a place would be suspected. 
They traveled only by night, and laid still during the 

I Hollister, i, 236. 


day in some shady nook in the woods, or by the bank 
of a brook where the murmuring of the water invited 
them to repose. On their journey up this road, they 
encamped in what is now West Meriden, for several 
days ; it then being a swampy, tangled wilderness, well 
fitted for concealment. The place thenceforward as hav- 
ing afforded shelter or harbor to these men, who though 
denounced at home as regicides, were honored by our 
fathers as noble patriots, was called " Pilgrim's Harbor." 1 
Now this is a very pretty story, and is quoted by 
Hollister and others ; but unfortunately for the truth of 
it, I have the copy of a letter in the hand-writing of 
Daniel Clarke, Secretary, written previous to 1661, in 
which we find mention of " Pilgroomes Harbour." The 
regicides passed through Meriden in October, 1664. 
This letter was written in consequence of some trouble 
in the settlement of boundary lines. 


As early as 1664, another locality lying several miles 
north of the town, was called Merrideen, Meridan or 
Meridon. For as early as that, an Indian deed convey- 
ing a large tract of land, describes it, or the locality 
about it, as " entitled and known by the name of Meri- 
deen." Subsequent documents speak of land as lying 
between Pilgrim's Harbor and Merridan. From a deed 
in possession of Moses Gilbert of Berlin, who is now 
(1870) living on the same farm owned by Jonathan 
Gilbert, previous to 1644, we find that Captain Daniel 
Clark of Windsor deeded to Jonathan Gilbert, April 22, 

i Hutchinson, i, 213 ; Mass. Hist. Coll. VII. 123 ; Stiles, Hist, of the 
three Judges of Chas. i ; Hartford, 1794. 


" 300 Acres of land (forty of which was to be meadow, by 
Grant of the Colony to s d Clark,) lying, situate, and laid out 
at a place called Moridam where Mr. Jonathan Gilbert's farm 
is, and bounded partly on the Mattabesick River where it may 
be allowed of the town of Farmington." 

Long before there were any settlements on this terri- 
tory, and as early as there was any house, we find the 
name Merrideen or Meriden. Mr. Perkins in his His- 
torical Sketches, says that there is a tradition that the 
name is compounded of two words, " merry " and " den ;" 
and that in an old stone house built in that locality, there 
were so many merry meetings of travelers, that the 
place acquired the nickname of Merry-den. At or before 
the union of the colonies of Connecticut and New Haven 
there was a grant made to Mr. Andrew Belcher of a 
tract of land containing nearly five hundred acres, on 
condition of his building a stone house or fort with port- 
holes, and keeping arms and ammunition. With the 
land, he was to have the right of keeping tavern forever. 
Mr. Belcher did not come himself, but it appears he sent 
some one to take his place, ^he house was erected 
between the years 1660 and 1667. This building prov- 
ing too small, another was erected about 1690. This 
remained and was occupied till after the close of the 
Revolutionary war, with the addition of a wooden build- 
ing ; and whoever lived there kept tavern if they pleased, 
until the turnpike was made in 1799. It was a noted place 
during the French and Revolutionary wars. The stone 
house stood not far from the late residence of Mr. John 
Yale, in the northern part of the town, and about twenty- 
five years ago the foundations of the old house were 
ploughed up. There can not be a shadow of doubt but that 
Mr. Belcher gave the name, and that it was taken from 


Meriden, Warwickshire Co., England. In the parish 
church at Meriden, in England, are deposited the remains 
of the Belcher family for many generations ; one Mar- 
garet Belcher was a patron of the church in 1582. The 
resemblance of the valley in which our town is situated, 
with the stone house or inn, with the town in England, 
and other associations, doubtless suggested to him the 
propriety of giving the name to his tract. Camden 1 
derives the name from the Anglo Saxon Mere, a pool or 
lake, and Den, a valley. Dugdale 2 thus describes the 
town, as it appeared in his day : 

" MIREDEN. This place situate upon London road, having 
some Inns and Alehouses, built for the receipt of Passengers, 
grown to late times to the credit of village, doth utterly 
eclipse the name of Alspath, by which, and none other, the 
Town itself was known ; even from Saxon times, till about 
the beginning of King Henry the sixth's reign ; I am of 
opinion, that the place where the greatest part of Myriden 
now stands, was very antiently so called ; for the latter syla- 
ble dene importeth no lene, being the old English word, that 
signifieth a valley, as this is ; which (I suppose) for the foul- 
nesse thereof, was at first called Mireden." 

West 3 thus describes the town : 

" Meriden, anciently called Alspath, or Ailespede, until the 
reign of Henry VI, when it bore the name of Myreden, from 
its low and miry situation. One of the old seats of the Earl 
of Aylesford is now turned into an inn, (The Bull's Head,) 
and a noble one it is, commanding fine prospects, and having 
extensive gardens, pleasure grounds, a fine archery, and 
bowling green." 

1 Britannia, I, 160. 

2 Antiquities of Warwickshire, 720; London, 1656. 

3 History of Warwickshire, 598; Birmingham, 1830. 


Leland describes Meriden in his time, as a " Village 4 
Miles by enclosed Ground, having some Corne, Wood 
and Pasture. And at the End of this Village ranne 
downe a Broket on the left Hand, and thereby was a 
Parke." 1 Gorton (Topographical Dictionary, London, 
1833), gives the population in 1833 as 927, and says, 

" Meriden, a parish in the Solihull division of the hundred 
of Hemlingford, which derived its name from the anciently 
low and damp situation ; The church, dedicated to St. Lau- 
rence, has been recently enlarged ; patron, the Earl of Ayles- 
ford, who has a seat here, surrounded by a fine park, well 
stocked with deer. An old mansion, formerly a seat of the 
Earl's, is now converted into an inn, having very extensive 
pleasure grounds." 

Clarke's British Gazetteer for 1852, says, 

"Meriden, Warwick Co., 100 miles from London, 6 from 
Coventry, 12 from Birmingham. The village is very pleasing. 
One of the seats of the Earl of Aylesford, which had latterly 
been but little used, has been converted into an inn, to which 
extensive grounds and pleasure gardens are attached. The 
Meriden poor-law union comprises 18 parishes, with a popu- 
lation of 11,000 persons, spread over an area of seventy-two 
square miles." 

As Mr. Belcher built his stone house as early as 1664; 
as we find the name Meriden applied to the locality on 
which the house stood, as early as the house was built ; 
as Meriden in England was distinguished for its beau- 
tiful tavern, and as Mr. Belcher's stone tavern was an 
unusually substantial and costly building for that period, 
there can be no reasonable doubt that he gave the name 
to the north part of the town ; which name was nat- 

i Itinerary, V. 96; Oxford, 1710. 


urally transferred to the settlements which sprang up 
around it. 


Captain Benjamin Hall had a tavern at the Noah 
Pomeroy place, which in those days was a place of great 
resort by parties who came from Middletown, Durham 
and Wallingford. One night in particular, a large party 
came from Middletown, and kept up their frolics all 
night ; in the words of Captain Hall, " they banged all 
creation ;" from which circumstance came the name of 


William Botsford, in the year 1830, gave the name of 
Crow Hollow to the locality near Julius Parker's shops, 
about two miles west of the city, there being such a 
great number of crows in that vicinity. 

A manufacturing company was formed in the fall of 
1826, consisting of Elisha A. Cowles, Julius Pratt, Fen- 
ner Bush, Nathaniel C. Sanford, Howell Merriman, 
Erastus C. Parmelee and Edward Sanford. All except 
the last were citizens of Meriden. Of this company, 
N. C. Sanford was the accredited agent, doing business 
under the name of N. C. Sanford and Co. The manu- 
facture of augers was commenced by this company in 
the summer of 1827, near the shop occupied by Bradley 
and Hubbard at West Meriden. But there not being 
sufficient water power, this company purchased the lands 
and water rights on both sides of the Quinnipiac river, 
both above and below the Fall Plain bridge, so far as 
was then deemed necessary (and so far as the rights 
could then be secured), for building purposes and the 


control of the water power. They first broke ground in 
the prosecution of their work, April 23, 1832. Various 
names had been proposed for the village ; and to decide 
upon one a special meeting of the company was called 
at the house of their agents (then standing on the 
grounds now occupied by the Byxbee House). Four 
only of the members of the company were present at 
that meeting, viz. : Messrs. Cowles, N. C. Sanford, Mer- 
riman and Parmelee. Various names were proposed 
and were severally acted upon and rejected till the list 
had been reduced to three. Neither of these could be 
adopted or rejected by vote of the members present, and 
it was voted to come to a decision by casting lots, and 
the first drawn to be the name decided upon. One of 
the members present was blindfolded. Another then 
wrote the ballots and placed them in a hat. The blind- 
folded man then drew out one ballot and handed it to 
another member who read the name Hanover written 
upon it. Such was the origin of the name, a name 
which Dr. Hough at the request of the agent of the 
company, announced to the people who were assembled 
on the occasion of the raising of the boarding house, 
June 6, 1832. 




MR. Whittelsey said before his death, that he observed 
the symptoms of a latent spirit of strife and division 
amongst his people, which he expected would discover 
itself and run high after his decease. After the death 
of Mr. Whittelsey, the society were for a long time 
without a pastor, the people were so divided in their 
opinions and feelings; above twenty .candidates having 
been heard, and they had not been able to unite in the 
settlement of any candidate whom they had employed. 
At a Society Meeting, September 5, 1757, it was 

"Voted that they would Signify their minds, who they 
would have to proceed with, in order for Probation, in the 
Work of y e Ministry, in said Society, by Passing Round and 
Giving in the Name of y e Gentleman, they would make 
Choice of, for that purpose, but those that Dont Vote for any, 
Signify their minds accordingly." 

The result of the ballotting was that Mr. Strong 1 had 

I Nehemiah Strong was born at Northampton, Mass., in 1728; was 
graduated at Yale College in 1755; was chosen Tutor in the College in 
1757, and continued in the office three years ; was soon after settled as a 
minister in the parish of Turkey Hills in Simsbury, now Granby ; was 
chosen to the Professorship of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in 
Yale College in 1770; resigned the office in 1781, and spent the remainder 
of his life in retirement. He died at Bridgeport, Conn., Aug. 12, 1807, in 
the eightieth year of his age. . . 


thirty-eight votes ; Mr. Chauncey Whittelsey, son of Rev. 
Samuel Whittelsey, had forty-eight ; Mr. Holmes, ten ; 
and Mr. Hubbard four votes. Mr. Chauncey Whittelsey 
had preached among them, to more general satisfaction 
than any other candidate ; but there was such a number 
in opposition to him, that he refused to settle with them. 
The association had advised the committee of the 
church and society to call in three candidates, of whom 
Mr. Whittelsey should be one, and the other two to be 
named by the minor party, and to hear them preach six 
sabbaths each, and then to settle him who should have 
the major vote, and that the minority should then agree 
to his settlement. Provided, nevertheless, that if the 
minor party should refuse to nominate, that then the 
society might proceed in a regular manner to the 
settlement of Mr. Whittelsey. This advice, it seems, 
was not acceptable. There was no prospect that the 
majority, who were fixed in the choice of Mr. Whittelsey, 
would recede from their choice in favor of any other 
man. At a special society meeting at Wallingford, 
March 28, 1758, it was 

" Voted that Ensign Theophilus Doolittle, Lieut. Joseph 
Royce, Caleb Merriman, Esq., Major Elihu Hall, Mr. Charles 
Whittelsey, Lieut. Caleb Johnson, and Samuel Hall, Esq., be 
a Committee to use such Measures, as speedy as may be, in 
Behalf of said Society, as may be by them tho't proper, con- 
sidering the difficult Circumstances of said Society, to invite 
a Candidate or Candidates, to preach in said Society, with the 
Advice of some Rev'd Gentlemen, that are acquainted with 
the Circumstances of said Society, some convenient Time, 
and Report make at their next Society Meeting, of what they 
have done in the Affair, in order, &c. 

"A true Copy. Test. JAMES MILES, Clerk." 


This committee applied to a number of neighboring 
ministers, who were convened together in the society, 
upon a day when that church and people were sanctify- 
ing a fast, who gave them the following advice, drawn up 
by Mr. Samuel Hall : 

" Wallingford, 26th April, 1758. 

"We the Subscribers, neighboring Ministers, being desired 
by Capt. Hall, Maj. Hall, Ensi. Doolittle, Mr. Whittelsey, 
Lieut. Royce, Lieut. Merriman, and Lieut. Johnson, to give 
our Advice, what Steps to take under the difficult Circumstan- 
ces of the first Society in Wallingford, about the Settling a 
Minister among them, do advise to send to Mr. Holyoke 
President of Cambridge College, Mr. Appleton, Minister of 
Cambridge, and Dr. Chauncey of Boston, for their Direction 
to some suitable Candidate for the Ministry in said Walling- 


The committee upon this advice sent the following 
letter to Cambridge : 

"Wallingford, 28 April, 1758. 

" The Committee of the first Society in Wallingford on 
Consideration of the bereaved and broken circumstances of 
said Society, by the Death of their late Reverend Pastor, 
having advised with the Reverend Elders in their Vicinity 
thereon, do in Comformity of their Advice, and in great 
Approbation thereof, hereby most earnestly beg your kind 
offices for this destitute Flock, to recommend some suitable 
and worthy Candidate, for the Ministry in this Place; and 
that you would be pleased to use your great and good 
Influence with such Candidate, to accept the Invitation, &c. 




ELIHU HALL, }- Committee.' 



President Holyoke and Mr. Appleton, 1 Dr. Chauncey 
being absent, recommended Mr. James Dana of Cam- 
bridge, a graduate of Harvard of the class of 1753, and 
then in his twenty-third year. He was accordingly 
invited to visit Wallingford to preach as a candidate for 
settlement. He accepted the invitation, and after he 
had preached a few Sabbaths, both the church and so- 
ciety, with apparent harmony, extended to him a call to 
become their pastor. A committee of fifteen 2 were ap- 
pointed " to wait on said Mr. James Dana and Request 
his acceptance of said Invitation, and Confer with 
him on Terms and proposals in order to his settle- 
ment therein." 

He accepted the invitation in the following letter : 

1 Rev. Mr. Appleton sent the following letter to one of the Wallingford 
committee : 

"DEAR SIR I congratulate you upon the hopeful prospect &c. 
Mr. Dana is a young Gentleman of so good natural Powers, and these 
so well cultivated and enlarged by a close Application in his Studies ; and 
has preserved so clear and unspotted a Character, &c., as may serve very 
much to recommend him to the Esteem and Choice of a people ; and 
such are his Capacities, and Thirst after further Attainments, that I am 
persuaded, if God shall put him, and continue him, in the Ministry for 
some Years, he will distinguishingly shine among his Brethren, .&c. 


"Cambridge, Aug. u, 1758." 

2 Samuel Hall, Elihu Hall, Ensign Theophilus Doolittle, Charles 
Whittelsey, John Hall, John Peck, Deacon John Hall, Caleb Merriman, 
Lieut. Joseph Royce, Lieut. Caleb Johnson, Capt. Nathaniel Eeadel, 
Capt. Peter Hall, Capt. Eliakim Hall, Abraham Stanley, John Moss. 


" Wallingford, Sept. 2 nd , 1758. 

" Your Invitation of me to settle among you in the Work 
of the Gospel Ministry, I received by your Committee 
chosen for that purpose ; and apprehend I have duly consid- 
ered the same, &c. In Answer to this your invitation, I 
would say, that having sought divine direction &c. I judge it 
my Duty to accept, and accordingly, do now declare my Ac- 
ceptance of the same. I embrace the present Opportunity to 
testify my grateful Sense, &c. I now stand ready to be intro- 
duced ' to the Work whereunto I am called,' as soon as 
convenient Opportunity therefor presents itself, &c. 


Mr. Dana agreed to come to Wallingford for 200 
settlement, and ^80 the first year, ,90 the second 
year, and 100 "per year annually," as long as he con- 
tinued in the work of the ministry in their society. 
There appeared to be a good degree of unanimity in 
giving him a call to the work of the ministry in the 
society. None appeared in opposition, though some, 
and two or three of the committee were not in the vote. 
They were not satisfied with respect to his doctrines, 
and soundness in the faith ; and one of the committee 
made him a visit, with a view of obtaining satisfaction 
relative to his doctrines, designing, if he could obtain 
satisfaction relative to them, to act in favor of his 
ordination. He, in as mild and decent a manner as he 
knew how, introduced the matter, and asked him a few 
questions relating to his doctrines and preaching, ex- 
pecting "that Mr. Dana would, at least, attempt to satisfy 
him with respect to his religious sentiments. But instead 
of this, to his grief and surprise, as he testified, Mr. Dana 
answered him very short, and in a loud and boisterous 
manner, and treated him with such apparent anger and 


disdain, as he never met with from any gentleman 
before, declaring that he did not regard the opposition a 
farthing, or words to that effect ; that if there were any 
objections against what he had delivered in preaching, 
he would answer them before the ordaining council. 
Also, Mr. Dana said, he was too young to be examined. 
Some other gentlemen waited on him between the 
meetings, to obtain satisfaction for themselves as to his 
religious sentiments ; and particularly desired him to let 
them know his sentiments with regard to original sin, 
the saints' perseverance, and with respect to free will 
and falling from grace. He made them very short an- 
swers, and said he should not tell. They asked him how 
he liked the platform. He said he had never seen it, but 
supposed, if he settled, he should settle upon it. They 
inquired if he had seen the doctrines of faith which Mr. 
Whittelsey had used ? He told them he had. They in- 
quired how he liked them ? In reply he asked them 
why they did not ask him how he liked John Bunyan's 
Pilgrim's Progress and ^Esop's fables ?" This treatment, 
and his refusing to give an account of his doctrines, 
gave much dissatisfaction ; for though both the church 
and society, with apparent harmony, united in giving 
Mr. Dana a call, the voting of the call was immediately 
followed by the organization of a strong opposition, pro- 
moted, as was supposed, by some of the ministers of the 
neighborhood. The society, nevertheless, proceeded to 
vote him a settlement and salary, 140 voting in the 
affirmative, and 62 in the negative; and Mr. Dana after 
consulting his friends, declared his acceptance of their 

I Some serious Remarks upon the Rev. Mr. Jonathan Todd's Faithful 
Narrative, &c., by Edward Eells, A. M., Pastor of the Second Church in 
Middletown, New Haven, 1760. 


invitation. A committee was appointed to " Mediate 
between the Rev'd Mr. James Dana and first Church 
in Wallingford, and the agrieved Brethren." Some of 
those who had voted in the affirmative now joined the 
other party, and insisted that Mr. Dana should be re- 
moved from his pastoral office. Some of the leading 
men in the opposition entered a complaint against Mr. 
Dana and the church. Against him as unsound in 
the faith, and against the church for calling him to the 
work of the ministry under such circumstances, against 
so large an opposition on account of his doctrines. 
The complaint was as follows : 

"To the Reverend Mr. Samuel Hall, moderator of the 
consociation, in New Haven county: 

" REVEREND SIR The petition of us whose names are 
under written, humbly showeth, that whereas the first society 
and church in Wallingford have been in pursuit of Mr James 
Dana, of Cambridge, to settle in the ministry among us, and 
the said church and society have not taken the steps of the 
constitution of the government,- set forth in the Saybrook 
platform, reference thereto being had. Furthermore, we the 
members of said church and society, beg leave to charge Mr. 
James Dana with declaring in public, some time in June last, 
that there was no sacrifice for wilful transgressions under the 
law or gospel. He also delivered, some time in the same 
month, that to suppose a man's sins are necessary and una- 
voidable, is to excuse the man from guilt, and lay and cast 
the blame upon God. Aug. 2oth, Mr. Dana took his text out 
of Chronicles, 28th chapter, gth verse ; under which text he 
undertook to inform us what were the conditions of our 
acceptance with God ; and saith our obedience must be sin- 
cere, uniform, willing, universal and persevering ; that these 
were the conditions of our acceptance with God, and what 
would interest us in his favor ; and that it would be suspended 
until we had fulfilled the above conditions. Sometime in 


July, said Mr. Dana delivered, in one of his sermons, that 
the gospel makes the practice of the duties of morality, the 
unchangeable condition of our future happiness. He 
declared sometime in August or September, that it was not 
strange if we had new things delivered to us in religion, and 
supposed we should have further discoveries made to us in 
every century, till we arrived at a perfect state ; which doc- 
trines we look upon as unfounded, not agreeable to the word 
of God, or the doctrines of the Saybrook platform, and the 
confession of faith therein set forth ; and he has preached 
twenty-one sermons in Wallingford, and has wholly omitted 
the doctrines of the new birth, and the safety of appearing in 
the righteousness of Christ ; and he compared the doctrine of 
faith that the Rev. Mr. Samuel Whittelsey taught, to ./Esop's 
fables and John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress ; which we look 
upon as unbecoming. We do hereby desire the consociation 
to be called, to hear these, with other grievances, and deter- 
mine the whole matter ; and we will be at the cost ; and the 
house of Caleb Merriman, Esq., is appointed to meet at. He 
declares he cares nothing about the opposition. 

" Members of said church. 

STREET HALL, LEVI Moss, of the society. 

" A true Copy. Test. SAMUEL HALL, Moderator. 

"Dated at Wallingford, September 25 th , 1758."' 

Thus was commenced the great controversy between 
the Old Lights and the New Lights, which culminated 
in the " Wallingford Controversy ;" a case which more 
than all others became a matter of public concern, and 
opened a distinct era in New England theology and in 

i A Faithful Narrative of the Proceedings, of the First Society and 
Church in Wallingford, in the Calling and Settling of Rev. Mr. Dana, in 
the Pastoral Office over them ; and of the Doings of the several Councils 
relative thereto, with some Remarks interspersed. By Jonathan Todd, 
A. M., New Haven, 1759. 


the history of the " liberties of the churches." Mr. 
Dana was set apart to the ministry by an Old Light 
council, in the face of protest from a repectable minor- 
ity, and against the solemn edict of the " Consociation 
of New Haven County," which had met in Wallingford 
to forbid the ordination of a candidate charged with doc- 
trinal unsoundness, even with Socinian or Arminian 
proclivities. The bold procedure of ordaining in spite 
of the prohibition, was a triumph of the principle for 
which the New Lights had long contended ; and the pens 
of the time were alive in its censure or its defense. It 
was a triumph also over the power of the " ecclesiastical 
constitution of the dissenters ;" and Noah Hobart, aided 
by President Clap and other leading divines of the 
colony, proved to be a champion no more successful 
here for the Saybrook Platform than he had been in his 
addresses to the members of the Episcopal separation 
in New England. Those on the other side found support 
for their action in the popular voice, as well as in the voice 
of a body of ministers trained under the influence of 
Whitefield's teachings. 1 

Mr. Hall, the moderator of the consociation, by the 
advice of a number of the neighboring elders, and after- 
wards by the advice of the association, before whom he 
laid the matter, called the consociation, to meet at 
Wallingford on the loth day of October, 1758; and 
he gave out citations under his hand, to Mr. Dana, and 
the church at Wallingford, notifying them of the meet- 
ing of the consociation, and requiring them to appear 
at time and place. 

Agreeably to the call, the consociation convened at 

I Beardsley's Hist, of Epis. Church in Conn., i, 195. 


Wallingford, and, whether it was by accident or design 
is not known ; but so it was, that the two councils, the 
one called by the church and society to ordain Mr. Dana, 
the other called by the minority to prevent his ordina- 
tion, met in Wallingford on the same day ; and a 
memorable day it was in the annals of congregational- 
ism, and in the ecclesiastical history of Connecticut. 
The council consisted of Rev. Messrs. Noyes, of 
New Haven, Hall, of Cheshire, Stiles, of North Haven, 
Ruggles, of Guilford, Hall, of Meriden, Whittelsey, of 
Milford, John Brown, of Hingham, Mass., and Mr. 
Whittelsey of New Haven, colleague with Mr. Noyes, 
and Mr. Fowler, of Guilford, colleague with Mr. Ruggles. 
They were all members of the association and con- 
sociation of New Haven county, except Mr. Brown 
of Hingham. 

The council met at Mr. Caleb Merriman's. The mod- 
erator, as soon as was convenient, proposed to form the 
body, by choosing a moderator and scribe. This brought 
on a dispute on the consociation's being called de novo 
or as a new one ; and also on account of some of the 
members not being qualified according to the constitu- 
tion. This, however, was soon so far overruled that the 
council united in choosing a moderator and scribe ; and 
the consociation was opened with prayer. Upon this, 
Mr. Dana and the church committee, and the complain- 
ants, came in before the consociation, and the complaint 
was read. The church then declined to submit to the 
consociation. The church pleaded that, according to 
the constitution, it could have no jurisdiction in that 
case. But they said they were ready to hear and answer 
all objections made to their proceedings before the 
ordaining council. The consociation wishing to conduct 


an affair of such moment in the most amicable manner 
possible, chose a committee, of which one was of the 
ordaining council, to treat with the parties and attempt 
some mode of agreement. In this conference, the mi- 
nority made this proposal by their agents : 

"That in case Mr. Dana would submit to an examination 
by the consociation then met, and they should approve of 
him as orthodox, they would concur in his ordination ; for his 
principles were their chief difficulty." 1 

But they insisted that this should be determined by 
the consociation, and not by the ordination council only. 
To this, Mr. Dana and the committee would not consent. 
The consociation adjourned to meet in the meeting house 
the next morning. In the meantime the gentlemen who 
had been invited to be of the ordaining council, met 
by themselves and formed, as was generally supposed, to 
keep the council alive, that they might act, when the 
way should be prepared by the consociation. It was 
not suspected even by some who formed with them, that 
it was with a design of separating from the consocia- 
tion. When the consociation met in the morning, 
according to adjournment, they met with it. 

On declaration being made that the council was 
opened, and that all parties concerned had liberty to be 
heard, Mr. Dana appeared and denied the jurisdiction of 
the council, and insisted that the complaint exhibited 
against him was not cognizable by that body, for he was 
not one of the associated pastors that might be com- 
plained of for heresy or scandal to the association ; nor, 
if he were, had there been any complaint of scandal or 

I Mr. Eell's Narrative. That this proposal was made, at this time, is 
attested by five of the principal men in the minority. 


heresy made to the association against him ; nor had 
there been any careful examination of that matter by 

With respect to this part of his plea, that he was not 
one of the associated pastors, and that no complaint had 
been exhibited against him to the association, etc. ; it 
was observed, that Mr. Dana's preaching to, and accept- 
ing the call of a consociated church, to take the pastoral 
charge of it, brought him so far within the reach of the 
constitution, that he must be subject to the government 
of the consociated churches. That it was a maxim among 
all nations, and so founded in the reason of things that 
it will extend to all communities, civil and sacred, 
that whoever comes into a community, and reaps the 
benefits of that body, must be subject to the laws of it. 
That Mr. Dana was reaping the benefits of a consociated 
church, and therefore was subject to the laws of the 
consociated churches, and that, therefore, a charge of 
scandal or heresy might be brought against him. That 
a copy of the charge in substance, was given him by 
those who opposed his ordination, and that they certified 
him that they were going to Northbury to the associa- 
tion, and that he refused to attend. That though the 
complaint was carried to the moderator of the last 
consociation, yet that it was by his direction laid before 
the association, and that they had the same opportunity 
to examine the matter, as if it had been directed to them 
at the first, and to give advice in the affair ; so that Mr. 
Dana was subject to the constitution. His cause had 
been so heard by the association, that they judged it to 
be the duty of the moderator to convene the consociation 
and advise him to the measure, that Mr. Dana might be 
heard on the charge exhibited against him. 


Though Mr. Dana denied the jurisdiction of the coun- 
cil, he expressed his desire to give the pastors and 
delegates of the churches satisfaction by an open vindi- 
cation of himself; but at the same time, he gave the 
consociation to understand that he would not be interro- 
gated by them on any point of doctrine, or upon the 
charge, or that he would not be " wire drawn." 1 

When Mr. Dana had finished what he proposed, the 
committee of the church and society appeared before the 
consociation, denied its jurisdiction, and pleaded, first, 
that the present convention was not a regular consocia- 
tion. For all of the consociated churches were not in- 
vited to be present at this council ; and the first church 
in Wallingford had not been notified ; and that Mr. 
Robbins was not a pastor of one of the consociated 
churches. It was replied, that it never had been the 
custom of this consociation, to notify a church to send a 
messenger, when the consociation had been called to con- 
sider any matter relating to said church, or their pastor ; 
and that universal practice had shown that the article in 
the platform had never been understood in the sense of 
those who had made the objection. 2 With respect to 
Mr. Robbins it was alleged that he had been received as 
a member both of the association and consociation ; that 
he was one of the committee of the association and had 
before sat with the consociation. 3 

1 Narratives of Messrs. Eells and Todd. 

2 It is believed, that there never has been an instance, since the form- 
ation of the platform to this time, in this county, of sending a letter to a 
church or pastor, to sit in a consociation, in which a cause of their own 
was depending. This would be like notifying a criminal to sit as judge in 
the very court which was to try him. 

3 Trumbull, 2, 484. Dr. Trumbull has related the particulars with 


Various other objections were brought up and an- 
swered, and the question was put, 

"Whether this consociation have a right to hear and 
determine, in relation to the complaint exhibited against the 
proceedings of the first church in Wallingford, with regard to 
the calling of Mr. James Dana, to settle in the gospel min- 
istry among them ?" 

and passed in the affirmative. Upon this, the gentle- 
men who were of the ordination council, who had, till 
this time, joined and acted with the consociation, with- 
drew themselves wholly from it, and entered into, and 
presented to the consociation the following protest : 

"To the Rev. Mr. Samuel Hall, and other elders and 
messengers of churches, of this county, convened at the house 
of Caleb Merriman, Esq., in Wallingford, and acting or pre- 
tending to act, as the consociation of this county. We, the 
subscribers, do hereby declare our dissent from, and protest 
against whatever resolves may become into, or determined 
upon by you, for the following reasons : i, Because, by the 
ecclesiastical constitution of this colony, a consociation may 
subsist by adjournment, for a year ; a new consociation was 
called, and met last May, and continued themselves by ad- 
journment, and must be therefore now in being; yet the 
present convention was called together by a new consociation. 
2, Because one of the churches under the constitution, in 
this county, was not notified to attend the consociation by 
their delegates. 3, Because you have voted, or resolved by a 
prerogative act, that Mr. Robbins, of Branford, may sit and 
act as a member of the consociation, who, with his church, 
have voted out the constitution, and refused to be regulated 
by it ; and accordingly did not lead his church to choose any 
delegate. 4, Because the special matters which, by com- 
plaint, lie before you, relating to the first church and society 

great honesty of purpose, but not without some bias from his personal and 
party prejudices. 



in Wallingford, and Mr. James Dana, are so brought, that, 
were you a regular consociation, they could not be taken 
cognizance of by you, consistent with the essential rights of 
congregational churches, and the plain directions of the con- 
stitution ; and the resolve you have already come into there- 
upon ( if reduced to a precedent) will effectually deprive the 
churches of their right to choose their own pastors, and to 
exercise church discipline." 1 

The consociation met the next morning, according to 
adjournment, and adopted the following resolutions, viz. : 

" Resolved by this consociation, that it shall be esteemed, 
and it is hereby judged disorderly, for any of the members of 
this consociation, or any other persons, to proceed to, or be 
assisting in the ordination of Mr. James Dana, to the gospel 
ministry, in the first church and society of Wallingford, while 
the matter is depending before this consociation. And also, 
it is judged disorderly for the church in Wallingford to pro- 
ceed in receiving Mr. Dana for their pastor, by ordination ; 
and for him to accept thereof, until the complaint against 
Mr. Dana, and the proceedings of said church, cognizable by 
this consociation, have been heard and determined. There- 
fore, this consociation earnestly beseech and desire the 
church to study the things which make for peace ; and all 
our members not to be assisting in the ordination of Mr. 
James Dana, and Mr. Dana not to accept thereof, till the 
matter is fully weighed and considered by this consociation, 
and full satisfaction given in the matters lying before this 
body. Voted. 

"Test. WARHAM WILLIAMS, Scribe." 

The consociation, at the same time, sent a resolve 
which they had previously passed, relative to the case of 
Mr. Dana, which was in the following words, viz. : 

" This consociation having duly weighed and considered the 

I Mr. Todd's Narrative, p. 40. 


reasons offered by Mr. James Dana, why he is not bound, &c., 
resolved, that this consociation have cognizance of the matter, 
.and a right over all who present themselves as preachers and 
candidates for the ministry, in any of the consociated churches 
of this county ; so far at least, as to forbid, where there is 
occasion, any such candidates or preachers, to preach in any 
of the consociated churches, or be ordained in and over them, 
until such candidates or preachers give full satisfaction to this 
consociation, to such matters of complaint as are regularly 
brought against them, before this body. Above voted and 
resolved. Test. WARHAM WILLIAMS, Scribe. 

"To Mr. James Dana." 1 

In the morning, before they went to the meeting- 
house for a public hearing, the ordination council made 
a proposal for the dissolution of both councils, each 
leaving their advice to all parties to study the things 
which make for peace. The consociation declined an 
acceptance of this proposal, and insisted that they 
could not put the case out of their hands, and leave it in 
the power of the church to call another ordination coun- 
cil, and settle Mr. Dana, before the consociation could 
come together again. At the same time, they were very 
desirous that both councils should adjourn, and have 
further time for consideration. For this purpose, the 
Rev. Mr. Merrick and others, were appointed a com- 
mittee, to treat with the ordination council ; and they 
expostulated with them, in as tender and moving a 
manner as possible, that the matter might be deferred 
for some time ; that the heat which then appeared might 
in some measure, subside ; and they gave them as- 
surance, that the consociation would adjourn for a 
considerable time, if they would consent to a similar 

I Mr. Todd's Narrative, pp. 50, 51. 


adjournment. They urged that there was great danger 
of their breaking all in pieces, and of great and lasting 
divisions, if any thing was done suddenly. 1 But the 
ordination council could not be persuaded to postpone 
the affair. 

Several of the ordination council, when they per- 
ceived how matters were going, separated from them. 
The Rev. Mr. Fowler, colleague with Mr. Ruggles 
of Guilford, and Esq. Sacket of North Haven, Mr. 
Stiles, messenger, separated from them immediately, 
as soon as they perceived they were about to form 
themselves into a council, distinct and separate from 
the consociation. Mr. Ruggles also, though he was 
prevailed upon to sign the protest, yet he was so affected 
with the affair, that he withdrew from them in .the 
morning, and did not assist in the examination or 
ordination of Mr. Dana. 

The gentlemen of the ordination council having 
separated themselves from the consociation, after some 
consultation upon the affair on which they had been 
convened at Wallingford, put the question, 

" Whether this council hath a right to proceed upon 
matters relative to the ordination of Mr. James Dana, to 
the pastoral office in the first society in Wallingford, and 
over the church in said society?" 

and the vote passed in the affirmative. Upon the 
desire of the committee of the church and of Mr. 
Dana, the ordaining council adjourned to the meeting- 
house, with a view to give the committee an oppor- 
tunity to publish their proceedings in calling Mr. 
Dana, and that he might also have an opportunity 

i Mr. Eells' Narrative, p. 36. 


publicly to manifest his orthodoxy. After this public 
hearing in the meeting-house, the ordination council 
returned to Mr. Whittelsey's, the place of their meeting. 
The following question was then put: 

"Whether the church and society have proceeded reg- 
ularly in their application unto, and call of the said Mr. 
Dana, to the pastoral office among and over them ? " 

Voted in the affirmative. The question was also put, 
" Whether Mr. Dana hath vindicated himself, with respect 
to the charges and allegations against him, to the satisfaction 
of this council ? " 

Voted in the affirmative. The ordination council then 
proceeded to an examination of the candidate, and after 
examination, the council voted their satisfaction, with 
respect to Mr. Dana's knowledge, orthodoxy, and min- 
isterial qualifications. Mr. Dana, at the same time, 
declared his willingness to settle and take the care and 
charge of the first church in Wallingford under the 
ecclesiastical constitution of this colony. 

The consociation, before the ordination council had 
determined to ordain Mr. Dana, certified them that there 
were ninety-five in opposition to Mr. Dana's ordination. 
They represented that they possessed half the rateable 
estate in the society. 1 The moderator intimated to the 
ordination council that he considered this as a strong 
objection to the ordination of Mr. Dana. Some of the 
opposition were men of high standing in the town, and 
the largest tax-payers. The ordination council, notwith- 
standing the prohibition and earnest entreaties of the 
consociation, proceeded to the important question, 

"Whether the council will proceed to the ordination of the 

I Eells' Narrative, pp. 10, n, and 33. 


said Mr. James Dana, to the work of the gospel ministry, in 
said church and society in Wallingford?" 

Voted in the affirmative. The Rev. Mr. Todd, one of 
the council, says, 

"We looked upon it, that we were called of God to ordain 
Mr. Dana." 1 

The council accordingly proceeded, in the face of the 
direct and peremptory prohibition of the consociation, 
to ordain Mr. Dana at Wallingford. The consociation, 
regarding the case as one of great difficulty, now 
invited the neighboring consociation of Hartford county 
to meet with them, that they might have the benefit of 
their opinion and advice ; and such a meeting accord- 
ingly took place three weeks afterwards. The council 
met and formed in a regular manner, and was the most 
numerous and respectable ever convened before in the 
colony, consisting of the most learned and pious divines 
in the counties of Hartford and New Haven, and of the 
deacons and justice of the peace, the principal men in the 
respective churches in the two counties. The Rev. Mr. 
Russell of Middletown was chosen moderator of the 
consociation from the county of Hartford, a gentleman 
of great respectability for knowledge, experience, mod- 
eration, and for pacific measures, on all occasions. 
When the consociations had formed, united, and opened 
with prayer, the committee of the church in Wallingford 
appeared before them, and denied the regularity and 
jurisdiction of the council thus united. That the 
fullest proof might be given of its earnest desire, if 
possible, to accommodate the difficulties at Wallingford, 
a committee was appointed to confer with Mr. Dana, 

i Todd's Narrative, p. 50. 


and the parties, concerning a reconciliation. The 
committee reported the following proposal of the minor- 
ity, viz. : 

"Whereas the Consociation of New Haven county, and 
the Consociation of Hartford county, south district, being 
convened at Wallingford, to hear and determine certain 
difficulties in the first church and society in Wallingford ; 
and said consociation appointing a committee to reconcile 
the parties, we the subscribers, members of said church 
and society, and committee of the minor part, do offer 
at this time, to the church committee, and Mr. Dana, to 
have the consociation of the south district of Hartford county 
examine Mr. Dana's notes, referred to in the complaint ; and 
another sermon, preached the 8th day of October last ; and 
also examine Mr. Dana, according to their method of examin- 
ation, and if they find him sound in the faith of the gospel, 
(and also examine his moral conduct) and if they find him 
qualified for a gospel minister, we will consent to him, and re- 
ceive him as our minister : but if he is not qualified as set 
forth above, then to have him dismissed. 





"Wallingford, Nov. 2, 1758." 

Afterwards, they declared to Mr. Dana . and to the 
council they were willing to concede that which respected 
his moral character should not be regarded on trial. 
This proposal was rejected by Mr. Dana. He refused to 
be examined by the consociation, 1 but sent them a 
written Confession of Faith. Numerous other meetings 
were called, and various resolutions were passed. Mr. 

I Eells' Narrative, pp. 38, 39. 


Dana denied the regularity and jurisdiction of the con- 
sociation, and refused to submit to their determinations. 
At an adjourned meeting at the house of Charles 
Sperry, in Wallingford, April 3, 1759, the following reso- 
lution was passed : 

"Whereas, this united council have judged Mr. James 
Dana guilty of scandalous contempt, as expressed in our 
result ; and have used proper measures, in order to bring him 
to a sense of his sinful conduct, and exercised due patience, 
he continuing obstinate ; we do therefore, according to that 
divine direction, 2 Thes. in. 6, and according to the rules of 
our ecclesiastical constitution, declare him to be unworthy of 
the communion of churches ; and that henceforth we will not 
hold communion with him in any acts of ecclesiastical 
discipline, or special ordinances ; and according to our 
ecclesiastical constitution, the churches are to approve this 
sentence, by withdrawing communion with him, which we 
advise, and expect accordingly. " 

It was also voted in council, that 

" Whereas, the greater part of the first church of Christ in 
Wallingford, have promoted the ordination of Mr. James 
Dana, and received him as their pastor, contrary to the 
prohibition of the consociation of New Haven county, while 
a charge of heterodoxy lay against him, before said consocia- 
tion ; and chose Samuel Hall, Esq., and others, a committee, 
with instructions to appear before this council, and in the 
name of said church, to deny their jurisdiction, and refuse to 
submit to their determination ; and whereas, this council, (as 
appears in our result, in the session, Nov. a8th, last) have 
judged, with- respect to Samuel Hall, Esq., and the rest of 
said committee, and all the other members of said church, 
who acted in choosing the said committee, and giving the 
instructions aforesaid, that, in case they continue to adhere 
to the said Mr. Dana, and acknowledge him as their pastor, 
until the third Tuesday of March next, they shall be judged 


guilty of scandalous contempt, and the sentence of non- 
communion declared against them. And whereas, the above 
mentioned Samuel Hall, Esq., etc., have, notwithstanding, 
continued to adhere to the said Mr. James Dana, and ac- 
knowledged him as their pastor; we judge said Samuel Hall, 
Esq. and the rest of the committee, and all the members who 
acted in choosing said committee, and giving the instructions 
aforesaid, guilty of scandalous contempt, and proper meas- 
ures having been taken to bring them to a sense of their sin- 
ful conduct, and due patience used, they still continuing 
obstinate ; we do now, according to that divine direction, 2 
Thessalonians, in. 6, and the rules of our ecclesiastical con- 
stitution, declare them to be unworthy of the communion of 
churches ; and that, henceforth, we will not hold communion 
with them, in any acts of ecclesiastical discipline, or special 
ordinances ; and according to the rules of our ecclesiastical 
constitution, the churches are to approve this sentence, by 
withdrawing communion from them ; which we advise, and 
expect accordingly. And while we declare those members 
who adhere to Mr. Dana, and are now under sentence of non- 
communion, to have fallen off from our ecclesiastical consti- 
tution ; we acknowledge the remaining members as the 
consociated church in the first society in Wallingford, and are 
determined to treat them accordingly. This council do ap- 
point the Rev. Messrs. Jonathan Merrick, John Trumbull, 
Mark Leavenworth and Benjamin Woodbridge, messengers ; 
deacons Ithiel Russell, Jonathan Guernsey, Mr. Stephen 
Hopkins, and deacon Theophilus Baldwin, a committee of 
this council, to stand in that capacity for the space of four 
months from this date, to whom any, or all the members of the 
first church in Wallingford, now under the sentence of non 
communion, may apply ; and upon their manifesting repent- 
ance, they are empowered, in the name of this council, to 
take off the sentence they are under, and restore them to the 
privileges of the consociated churches ; and if any member 
shall neglect to apply to the committee aforesaid, within four 


months, they may afterwards apply ( if they desire it ) to the 
moderator of the consociation of New Haven county, to call 
the consociation of New Haven county, to call the consocia- 
tion of said county, for the purpose aforesaid. 

"A complaint being exhibited to this council, dated March 
22, 1759, by several members of the first church of Christ 
in Wallingford, against the Rev. Messrs. Joseph Noyes, Isaac 
Stiles, Theophilus Hall, Samuel Whittelsey, Jonathan Todd 
and Chauncey Whittelsey, elders ; and Robert Treat, Na- 
thaniel Ruggles, Thomas Darling and Ezekiel Royse, messen- 
gers, and members of the consociation of New Haven county 
for breaking off from said consociation, and aiding and 
assisting in the ordination of Mr. James Dana, &c. ; the 
persons complained of were properly notified. Several of 
them appeared personally and others by letters, denying our 
jurisdiction, &c. The council not thinking it proper to act 
upon the above said complaint, the complainers withdrew it. 
This council having already, in our result, condemned the 
ordination of Mr. Dana, as contrary to the word of God, and 
the ecclesiastical constitution of the churches in this colony, 
have therein condemned the ordination council, or those who 
were active therein ; we think it our duty more explicitly to 
declare our judgment relating to them, which is, that they 
have so violated the good rules of our ecclesiastical constitu- 
tion, that they ought to be treated as disorderly persons, and 
not fit to sit in any of our ecclesiastical councils, until they 
shall clear up their conduct, to the satisfaction of the conso- 
ciation of New Haven county, for their disorderly breaking 
off from them, and aiding and assisting in Mr. Dana's ordi- 
nation. And we advise the moderator of said consociation, 
to call the consociation, upon application made to him by 
said gentlemen." 

"Voted in council. 


"Test. _ > Scribes of the council. 



Though this council was composed of some of the 
most respectable gentlemen of the clergy and churches 
in the colony, for literature, age and candor ; and though 
they took great pains to compromise the difficulties at 
Wallingford, and appeared to act with coolness and 
patience, yet their doings were cried out against by the 
gentlemen of the ordination council, and others who 
engaged in their cause, as unconstitutional and tyranni- 
cal, depriving the churches of their most essential rights. 
Many hard and severe things were said of them. The 
Rev. Mr. Todd, who was one of the ordination council, 
wrote a narrative of the transactions at Wallingford, 
even before the united council had finished their result. 
The Rev. Mr. Hart of Saybrook 1 wrote against it 
immediately. He wrote in a high and positive strain, 
condemning the council and insisting that their doings 
were wholly unconstitutional and inconsistent with the 
essential rights of the churches. 2 The Rev. Mr. Eells, 3 
who had been one of the scribes of the united council, 
wrote a narrative of the transactions of the council, 
supplying such facts and circumstances as Mr. Todd 

1 Mr. Hart was born at East Guilford, in 1713; graduated at Yale 
College in 1732; and was ordained pastor of the First church in Saybrook, 
Nov. 17, 1736. He had the reputation of being an Arminian; was a 

. vigorous controversal writer, and produced several pamphlets that were 
much read in their day. He engaged with great zeal in the Wallingford 
controversy, fully justifying the council that acted in the ordination of Mr. 
Dana. He had a strong aversion to Hopkinsianism, and is said to have 
been the first to give that name to the system of doctrine which it now 

2 Trumbull, II. 505. 

3 Mr. Eells was a son of Rev. Nathaniel Eells of Scituate, Mass. ; was 
graduated at Harvard College in 1733 ; was ordained pastor of a church 
in Middletown, Sept. 6, 1738, and died Oct. 12, 1776, ae. 64. He published 
the Conn. Election Sermon, 1767. 


omitted, noticing some of those things in his narrative 
wm'ch he judged severe, uncharitable and calculated to 
render his brethren of the council odious and contempti- 
ble. He also made such general remarks as he supposed 
were necessary for the vindication of the council. The 
Rev. Mr. Hobart of Fairfield 1 replied in particular to 
Mr. Hart, in vindication of the council at Wallingford, 
showing that they had assumed no powers inconsistent 
with the rights of congregational churches at large, and 
consequently could not be inconsistent with the ecclesi- 
astical constitution of the colony, and no more than it 
was the original design of the Saybrook agreement to 
give them. 2 

The separation that originated in this conflict, con- 
tinued a number of years. Mr. Dana and the ministers 
who had ordained him, being cut off from all ecclesiastical 
and ministerial intercourse with the other pastors of the 
county, 3 formed an association by themselves, which 

1 Noah Hobart was born at Hingham, January 12, 1706. He was a 
son of Daniel Hobart, and a grandson of the Rev. Peter Hobart, the first 
pastor of the church in that town. He was graduated at Harvard College 
in 1724, and was ordained pastor of the First Congregational church in 
Fairfield, Conn., Feb. 17, 1733. He died December 6, 1773, aged 68. He 
published in 1754, "Principles of the Congregational Churches," &c. ; 
and in 1761, a vindication of the piece entitled, The Principles of Congre- 
gational Churches, &c., applied to the case of the late ordination at Wai-, 
lingford occasioned by remarks made thereon by Mr. Hart. 

2 There were also published, A letter to the Rev. Mr. Noah Hobart, 
by R. Walcott ; Some Remarks upon the claims and doings of the 
Consociation, &c., By Andrew Bartholomew, A. M., Pastor of the Church 
in Harwinton ; The Wallingford Case Stated, &c. 

3 Rev. Joseph Howe of Killingly, Conn., in a letter dated February 14, 
1771, says, " I have been preaching about a little now and then, at Guilford 
and Hartford (West Division); I was engaged to preach at the latter 
place, but got no farther than Wallingford, where I preached for that 
great heretic Dana. I don't know but some will call me as great a one 


continued until the year 1772, or later, when the contro- 
versy was finally terminated, in consequence of pacific 
overtures made by the ministers then constituting the 
consociation. 1 

The prejudice against Mr. Dana gradually wore away ; 
and even those of his brethren whose views of religious 
doctrine did not fully accord with his own, neverthe- 
less, had a high estimate of his talents and character, 
and did not hesitate to receive him into their pulpits. 
And when the revolutionary struggle came on, he ren- 
dered himself particularly popular by the very decided 
part which he took, both in public and in private, in 
favor of the American cause. Mr. Whittelsey of New 
Haven was accustomed to exchange with him at least 
once while the Legislature was in session ; and Mr. 
Dana, by some of his patriotic sermons preached on 
these occasions, did much to increase his popularity 
throughout the State. Many of the members who were 
predisposed to judge him unfavorably, from having heard 
his theological views called in question, were so well 
satisfied with his political orthodoxy, that they came to 
regard his supposed Arminianism as a very pardonable 
offense. 2 

After Mr. Dana was disfellowshiped his party con- 
tinued in Wallingford, and the minor party applied to the 
New Haven association, who advised them to meet and 
carry on public worship among themselves, and to apply 
to the society committee for the use of the meeting- 
house, when not occupied, and some members of the 

for it. Be that as it will, I meant not to espouse his party, his cause, or 
his principles." 

1 Stiles' Lit. Diary. Bacon's Hist, Dis. 270. 

2 Sprague's Annals, I. 566. 


association would meet with them to carry on worship. 
Accordingly, July 22, 1759, Rev. Mr. Woodbridge 1 agreed 
to officiate for them after Mr. Dana's service in the fore- 
noon and in the evening, which he performed. But a 
grand-jurors' complaint was entered against him, before 
John Whiting, Esq., at New Haven, July 26, 1759, for 
holding a disorderly meeting ; and on a warrant, August 
14, 1756, he was arrested and brought up for trial; and 
being unadvised as to the proper course, pleaded not 
guilty, and begged delay to take advice ; and at the ad- 
journment, he asked leave to enter a special plea of 
guilty, so as to bring the case before the Superior Court, 
which was denied, and the court pronounced him guilty, 
and he was obliged to pay a fine or suffer imprisonment ; 
and he stood recorded a transgressor. He prayed the 
General Assembly, April 24, 1760, that said judgment 
might be reversed, and a restoration made. This was 
granted in the lower house, but negatived in the upper 
house. October 4th, he renewed his petition, and the 
Assembly considering his innocent intentions, and the 
veneration due the sacred office, ordered the penalty 
removed, and the amount of fine and costs refunded. 

After the trial of Mr. Dana was ended, the inhab- 
itants were greatly excited in regard to taxes, and the 
use of the meeting-house. In May, 1760, ninety-six 2 

1 Benjamin Woodbridge was son of Rev. John Woodbridge, the first 
minister of West Springfield, Mass. He was graduated at Yale College 
in 1740, and was settled at Amity, afterwards called Woodbridge, in re- 
membrance of him, near New Haven. 

2 Names of the petitioners : John Hall, Caleb Merriman, Eliakim Hall, 
Israel Johnson, Elnathan Street, Stephen Hall, Street Hall, John Hall, zd, 
Charles Sperry, Stephen Doolittle, Jennings Johnson, Joel Ives, James 
Royce, Gideon Ives, Jeremiah Hull, Charles Ives, Joseph Francis, Jacob 
Francis, Thomas Hall, Titus Hall, Ezekiel Hall, Bates Hall, Stephen 


persons petitioned the Assembly that they were opposed 
to the settlement of Mr. Dana, as they had doubts of his 
orthodoxy when preaching on probation. But the ma- 
jority, who were much attached to him, and fearing an 
investigation, did not take the advice of the association 
in calling and settling him, and before his ordination, 
articles of complaint against him were presented to the 
consociation, which he refused to answer. He and his 
friends denied the authority of the consociation over 
them, thus declaring their dissent from the church order 
before practiced by the church and society, and hence 
the memorialists ought to be acknowledged as the estab- 
lished church and society. The consociation had a 
meeting and dissolved all connection between Mr. Dana 
and the church and society, but his adherents outvoted 
the petitioners in the society, and laid rates, &c., for his 
support. They prayed that the doings of the consocia- 
tion of the twenty-third of April, 1760, might be 
defended, and that the petitioners might have the meet- 

Peck, Able Peck, Jonathan Hall, Samuel Merriman, Levi Moss, Timothy 
Hart, John Barker, Samuel Street, Benjamin Ford, Daniel Peck, John 
Miles, Ebenezer Fitch, Joseph Thomson, Daniel Clark, Caleb Johnson, 

Enos Page, Elnathan Street, Jun., Abner , Joshua Doolittle, David 

Robinson, Giles Hall, Enos Johnson, Sherben Johnson, Reuben Johnson, 
Jun., Benj. Johnson, Charles Johnson, Edward Fenn, Samuel Street, Jun., 
Theophilus Merriman, Hezekiah Johnson, Dayton Johnson, Joseph John- 
son, John Cook, Jun., Israel Negus, John Cook, John Curtis, Jun., Eph- 
raim Hall, Benjamin Fenn, Daniel Tuttle, Daniel Johnson, Isaac Hall, 
Ben'j. Culver, Richard Hackley, Abel Merriman, John Mulbree, Clement 
Hopson, Samuel Hopson, David Page, Timothy Page, Samuel Miles, 
Stephen Peck, Jun., Elijah How, Samuel Culver, Reuben Benham, John 
Austin, Jun., Samuel Hall, Benijah Tyler, Theophilus Jones, Jun., Caleb 
Hall, 2d, David Hall, John Curtis, Wm. Mullbree, Ambrose Hall, Elna- 
than Thorp, Joseph Atwater, Wm. Bestow, Seth Plum, Samuel Hopson, 
Jun., John Dudley, John Thomson, Elisha Brockett, Isaac Johnson, Jun., 
Samuel Jones. 


ing-house and the immunities pertaining to the First 
society. 1 

Mr. Charles Whittelsey, agent for the society, replied : 

"That on the death of Mr. Samuel Whittelsey, April, 1758, 
on the advice of neighboring ministers, Chauncey Whittelsey 
supplied the pulpit with general approbation, only about 
seven opposing. But on proposing terms of settlement the 
cloud of opposition gathered thick, and one third of the 
voters with the co-operation of some neighboring ministers 
frustrated their attempt. After this, about twenty candidates 
succeeded, but no one was approved by the opposing party. 
And by the advise of neighboring ministers, and vote of the 
society, Mr. Dana was, March, 1758, introduced by a com- 
mittee and their doings were approved by a society meeting 
June 20* 1758. But the Minor party, after a vain endeavor 
to introduce a Consocional council, which was an irregularity, 
raised a most violent opposition, and although they were re- 
leased from rates for the support of Mr. Dana, and allowed 
to worship by themselves, as provided by assembly, yet they 
persisted and petitioned the General Assembly. The General 
Assembly were requested to subject the Minor party to taxes, 
or restrain them from interference." 

In 1762, John Hall, Caleb Merriman, Eliakim Hall 
and Isaac Johnson, agents for the "constitutional party" 
who did not adhere to Mr. Dana, gave a history of the 
difficulties to the General Assembly, and claimed their 
rights. They prayed that the society and the public 
interest might be divided. They had called and settled 
Mr. Waterman, and further prayed that the major party 
with Mr. Dana, might be required to render an account 
of monies received, and be prohibited from collecting of 
them further rates. In April oi the same year, a com- 

i The petition is in the State Library, Ecclesiastical Records, vol. 13, p. 
3 2 4- 


mittee was appointed to fix the place for a meeting- 
house within certain limits, specified by vote, and to ac- 
cept the report locating the house partly on Israel John- 
son's lot, and partly on the common. On the memorial 
of John Hall, jun., and others, May i, 1762, it was 
enacted that the minor party be incorporated a distinct 
ecclesiastical society, and that they be " called, known 
and distinguished by the name of Wells," and that 
members might enroll their names within six months, 
and those who arrive of age, or come into the society, 
may choose to which they will belong. A committee 
was appointed to locate a meeting-house, so as not to 
disturb the other society, and to inquire and propose a 
division of the property. 


The same month, Theophilus Doolittle, Isaac Cook, 
Samuel Hall, and Reuben Royce, agents for the First 
society, petitioned that an injunction might be laid on 
the- minor party, prohibiting them from building a meet- 
ing-house. This petition was negatived. Lydia Moss, 
Mary Price and others testified that they could hear Mr. 
Waterman preach, and the deacon read the psalms, at 
least twenty-five rods from the place of worship ; and 
that the new meeting-house was but eighteen rods from 
the old one. The same month a committee of the 


minor party petitioned that they had a minister settled 
over them, and were building a meeting-house ; and as 
some of Mr. Dana's parish threatened to throw down the 
house, because built partly on the highway, they prayed 
that the location might be confirmed to them. When 
the dissentients proceeded to erect a new meeting-house, 
an attempt was made to arrest their work ; and a fight 
over the trenches dug for the foundations brought 
together the inhabitants for miles around to participate 
in the scene, or to witness its issue. 

Numerous petitions were sent to the General Assem- 
bly from both parties, in regard to the division, taxes, &c. 
May 2, 1765, the agents of the First society in a petition 
said that there could be no absolute property in the old 
meeting-house, and that the memorialists' leaving was no 
advantage to those that remained. They prayed there- 
fore for liberty to tax the Wells society for repairing the 
steeple and hanging the bell. The Wells society replied 
that said society and the other societies set off had en- 
joyed the use of the meeting-house for nearly half a 
century, and there could be no rule for estimating their 
interest. As for taxes, they had never paid any, except 
for schools and some incidental charges. March 25, 
1766, it was voted that the First society pay the Wells 
society 60 for the meeting-house ; that the bell be used 
in common, and that no taxes granted since December 
5, 1758, be collected by members of the Wells society. 
A remonstrance signed by Messrs. Ingersoll and Johnson 
was sent in, conveying the idea that the meeting-house 
was not divisible ; but it was ordered that the inhabit- 
ants of the First society pay the inhabitants of the 
Wells society 60. Execution was granted, and land 
of Benjamin Atwater was taken and set off to the Wells 


society. At a special meeting of the Wallingfbrd First 
society, held the last Tuesday in December, 1 766, a long 
petition was read, giving a history of the settlement and 
church affairs of Wallingford. 

" By all which appears that it was a fundamental principle 
that no planters that were or should be admitted, should with- 
draw due Maintenance from the Minister or Ministry. Yet 
nevertheless upon the Ordination of the Rev'd Mr Dana a 
party of the said Antient Society who Voted and Acted in 
his Call and Settlement have withdrawn due Maintenance 
from said Minister, contrary to the Original Contract, League 
and Covenant, have embroiled us in great Strifes and Conten- 
tions and now demand a heavy Exaction for the present 
Meeting House belonging to said first Society in Violation 
of the first and fundamental principles of said Society. 
WHEREUPON it is Voted and Agreed that Messrs. John Moss, 
Benjamin Hall 2d, Daniel Ives, Elihu Hall, Isaac Cook, 
Peter Hall, Nathaniel Hart and Moses Price be a Committee 
in behalf of this Society to treat with the members of the 
present Society of Welles and Expostulate with them on these 
Matters and Endeavour a Safe and honourable Settlement of 
that Dispute consistant with the Antient Rights of said first 
Society and Agreeable with the fundamental Maxims of the 
first Planters of the same and make Report to this Society. 
Also to try any other methods to Accomodate the Differences 
Subsisting between this Society, and the present Society of 
Welles and make Report to this Society." 

The Committee appointed, reported at the next meet- 
ing that they appointed time and place for the purposes 
aforesaid, and notified the committee of said society of 
Wells ; but that said committee did not meet. Ten 
persons, members of the Wells society, in a petition 
sent to the General Assembly in 1767, stated that long 
and wearisome had been their contentions ; and the 
decree respecting the old house had opened the wounds 


afresh ; they prayed that the said decree might be set 
aside, as they Wished for part of said house, and that 
they might be free from taxes for the steeple and bell. 
The agents for the First society in reply said that before 
the execution was granted they made overtures to come 
to terms, to make way for peace and a good understand- 
ing, which was prevented. The levy of the execution 
would make the breach irreparable. They prayed for a 
committee to recommend a plan of agreement, and that 
the execution might be suspended. This was negatived. 
In October, 1768, Benjamin Atwater petitioned the 
General Assembly that members of the Wells society 
entered on his land, and at trial before the Superior 
Court, August, 1768, they recovered judgment against 
him, for a large amount of costs ; and as the sheriff had 
no right to do this, to take private property, he prayed 
that said judgment might be set aside. This was nega- 
tived. April 24, 1769, he renewed his petition, as the 
decree affected personal rights, that it might be set 
aside; this was negatived. May i, 1770, Mr. Atwater 
renewed his petition, that an execution could not be 
levied against a corporate body, on an individual. He 
prayed the decree might be set aside. This was 
negatived. March 21, 1771, he renewed his petition and 
presented a long argument, that, i. An assembly can- 
not award and enforce execution. 2. Which was 
against a society in their corporate capacity. 3. Real 
Estate cannot be taken except in want of personal es- 
tate. He prayed that their judgment might be set 
aside This was negatived. Sept. 28, 1772, Oliver 
Stanley, agent for the First society, petitioned the Gen- 
eral Assembly, that the steeple was injured by lightning, 
and he prayed that the cost of repairing, and expense of 


ringing the bell, might be partly paid by the Wells soci- 
ety. This was negatived. Thus matters progressed for 
a number of years, dividing the town, and alienating 
brethren. 1 

May 3, 1787, the Wells church and society, each by 
separate vote, declared themselves unable longer to sup- 
port Mr. Waterman. 2 In November, 1788, they voted 
unanimously that they were " desirous of holding Chris- 
tian fellowship and communion with the church under 
the care of Rev. James Noyes, notwithstanding the sen- 
tence of non-communion passed some years since by a 
consociated council against said Church." Some of 
them returned to the old church, and others went to 
other ecclesiastical organizations ; and their church edi- 
fice passed into the hands of the Episcopalians about 

The controversy at Wallingford was essentially a 
conflict between the " Old Light " and " New Light " 
parties. 3 Dr. Dana was understood to be of the then 

1 The Wells society numbered in the beginning, about fifty members ; 
and at the ordination of their pastor, they were increased to sixty-one. In 
1770, they had one hundred and four members. 

2 Mr. Waterman was settled October, 1761; dismissed June, 1787; 
and died November, 1813. 

3 At the period of the great attention to religious subjects about the 
year 1740, the religious part of the community were mostly divided into 
two parties, the New Lights and the Old Lights. The New Lights were 
active and zealous in the discharge of every thing which they conceived to 
be their religious duty, and were in favor of Mr. Whitefield and others itin- 
erating through the country, stirring up the people to reform, &c. The 
Old Lights considered much of their zeal as wild-fire, and endeavored to 
suppress it. The contention between these two parties grew so bitter, that 
those who were of the New Light party, in some instances, withdrew and 
formed separate churches from those of the standing Order. About thirty 
separate congregations were formed from 174010 1750. Dr. Dana in his 


liberal school of Boston and that region, and of that 
party which had opposed the revival of religion ; his 
settlement in so large and important a church, would be 
a triumph of that party, which had already become a 
minority in the county and in the colony ; and there- 
fore the new light men were determined by all means to 
prevent the ordination, and when the thing was done to 
undo it if possible. The ministers constituting the con- 
sociation of New Haven county were little disposed that 
one of their prominent churches should be commited to 
the pastoral care of one whom they considered as having 
departed so far from their own standard of Christian 
doctrine. The old light party had previously attempted 
to use the peculiar constitution of the Connecticut 
churches as an engine of oppression. They had carried 
matters with a high hand while they had the power, 
interfering arbitrarily with the rights of pastors and of 
churches ; and now they found the very enginery which 
had been so convenient to them, turned against them. 
The ordination of Mr. Dana marks the complete and 
final overthrow of the old lights as a dominant party. 
Their great fortress, " our ecclesiastical constitution " 
had been seized, and all its guns were turned upon them. 
A new generation of ministers, trained under the 
influence of the great awakening, and indoctrinated to 

"Century sermon" preached in 1770, says : "No town of the same bigness 
in the government hath had fewer of the people called separates. In the 
large parish of New Cheshire, there is not one family of this denomination. 
In Meriden but two or three. In the old society there are eight or nine 
families, who assemble for religious worship by themselves." p. 44. A 
full history of the Old Light and New Light controversy and of separate 
churches, can be found in Trumbull's Hist, of Conn., 2, 163-195 ; Tracy's 
Great Awakening, 310-325; Contributions to the Eccles. Hist, of Conn., 
280 ; Bacon's Hist. Dis., 271. 


some extent with the writings of Edwards and Bellamy, 
had come. The era of New England theology was 

Mr. Dana was a young man at the time of his ordina- 
tion, and had little acquaintance with the colony, and 
doubtless took his measures partially from the ordaining 
council. His theological views when he began to 
preach were those which in that day were becoming 
prevalent in the region about Boston ; views which there, 
in the course of one or two generations, beginning with 
opposition to the extravagances and enthusiasm of the 
revival, and growing into opposition to what was called 
bigotry and superstition, ripened into Unitarianism. 1 
Whatever his sentiments were at the time of his ordina- 
tion, he doubtless considerably changed them upon 
further improvement and more mature consideration. 
He made no secret of it, that he committed numbers of 
his first sermons to the flames. As the ministers and 
churches of Connecticut began to be better acquainted 
with him, and to recover from the fright occasioned by 
the extraordinary manner in which he was settled, they 
were constrained to recognize him as a man of great 
talent and learning, of great judgment and prudence in 
the management of affairs, of great fearlessness and con- 
scientiousness in performing what he conceived to be 
his duty, and of eminent public usefulness. 2 

James Dana was a descendant, in the third genera- 

1 " I do not regard it as right to imply that Dr. Dana was a Unitarian, 
or that he held doctrines inconsistent with those received in orthodox 
churches. Vide his confession of faith, and the testimony of the ordain- 
ing council after his examination, &c. He was suspected, being from 
Boston. If the views of others ripened into Unitarianism, his did not." 
Ex tract from letter of Rev. E. /?. Gilbert. 

2 Bacon's Hist. Dis., 272. 


tion, from Richard Dana, who was born in 1620, came 
from England to America and settled at Cambridge, 
Mass., in 1647, an< ^ died April 2, 1690. He was a son 
of Caleb and Phcebe ( Chandler) Dana, and was born at 
Cambridge in the year 1735. He was graduated at 
Harvard College in 1753, and remained there as a resi- 
dent graduate for several years afterwards, pursuing his 
theological studies and giving much attention to general 
literature. In 1758 he was called as pastor of the 
church at Wallingford, being then in his twenty-third 
year. In 1768, he was honored with the degree of 
Doctor of Divinity from the University of Edinburg. 
His health being very poor in 1785, Mr James Noyes 
was chosen as his colleague ; but the Doctor's health was 
soon after, so far restored, that he was able to perform 
his part of the duties, both public and private, without 
any serious embarassment. 

In 1789, being then in his fifty-fourth year, Dr. Dana 
was called to the pastoral charge of the First church in 
New Haven, then vacant by the death of the Rev. 
Chauncey Whittelsey. He accepted the call and was 
installed on the twenty-ninth of April. The installation 
sermon was preached by himself, and was published. 
After the council for installing him had met, and the 
preliminary matters had been attended to, Dr. Dana read 
a statement of his religious views, written with great 
care a'nd caution, but containing some pungent allusions 
to the " new divinity " of that day. After the reading of 
this document, Dr. Edwards, as the champion of a newer 
and more thorough orthodoxy, undertook to examine 
him by asking him questions. The questioning being 
finished on Dr. Edwards' part, Dr. Dana retaliated, by 
proposing a series of questions for the examiner to 


answer. 1 Both had prepared themselves beforehand ; 
and both appear to have brought their questions in 
writing to the place of meeting. Dr. Dana doubtless 
anticipating some such collision, Dr. Edwards as ap- 
peared afterwards, did not obtain satisfaction. Whether 
Dr. Dana was satisfied, we are not informed. Dr. 
Edwards is said to have expressed the conviction that 
" Dr. Dana, besides being opposed to the ' new divinity,' 
was unsound respecting the Trinity, the doctrine of 
Election, and the doctrine of future punishment." 
" Yet," says President Stiles, in recording this fact, "all 
the rest of the council (except Dr. Edwards and Mr. 
Austin), were satisfied that the Doctor was sound as to 
all these points." Dr. Bacon, 2 in referring to this 
subject, expresses his full conviction of Dr. Dana's 
orthodoxy in regard to the doctrine of the Trinity, and 
of future punishment ; but adds, " I think, however, 
notwithstanding Dr. Stiles' testimony, that his doctrine 
of Election was nothing more than that which is com- 
monly known as the Arminian doctrine on that subject." 
The ministry of Dr. Dana at New Haven was for the 
most part peaceful and quiet ; but none who remember 
that the great end of the ministry is to " win souls," and 
by the blessing of God, to bring men under the full 
power of the gospel of Christ, can call it successful. 
The average annual addition to the number of commu- 

1 These questions can be found in Bacon's Historical Discourses, page 
396; also in Stiles' Literary Diary. Dr. Stiles said that he copied these 
questions "from the original paper which Dr. Dana had before him in his 
own hand-writing in council, at the time of asking the questions, and from 
which he asked the questions. Dr. Edwards asked his questions also 
from a prepared paper, which he brought into the council, took out of 
his pocket and used." 

2 Hist. Dis., 276. 


nicants during his ministry of sixteen years and a half, 
in New Haven, was only between five and six ; ninety- 
three in all. Two services on the Sabbath, the monthly 
sacramental lecture, the occasional catechising of the 
children, and the annual public fast and thanksgiving, 
were all the religious meetings known in the congrega- 
tion. Dr. Dana, by his discretion, and his dignified 
propriety of conduct ; by his diligence and courage in 
visiting the sick, especially in times of pestilence, when 
some other ministers retreated from the danger ; by the 
venerable beauty of all his public performances, particu- 
larly his prayers ; and by his unquestionable reputation 
for learning and wisdom, continued to hold the affections 
of the people much longer than most men could have 
done in similar circumstances. 1 

Notwithstanding the growing infirmities of age, Dr. 
Dana appears to have lost nothing of the respect of his 
own people or of the community. But in the winter of 

1804, ne was confined, for some time, by illness; and 
Mr. (afterwards Professor) Stuart, having then been re- 
cently licensed to preach, was employed to supply the 
pulpit. His preaching was earnest, direct, and pungent, 
differing herein from that to which the congregation had 
been accustomed ; and so powerful was the impression 
made by it that they quickly resolved on an effort to 
secure Mr. Stuart's labors permanently by settling him 
as a colleague with Dr. Dana. On the 3Oth of July, 

1805, the society by vote signified their will "that Dr. 
Dana retire from his pastoral labors." This vote was in 
effect the dismission of the aged pastor ; the younger 
part of the congregation after listening to the strong, 

I Bacon's Hist. Dis., 278. 


impetuous eloquence of Mr. Stuart, had found out all 
at once that their pastor, then threescore and ten years 
old, was indeed an old man. The relation of Dr. Dana 
to the church and society was formally disolved by an 
ecclesiastical council in December, 1805 ; and then the 
way being clear, the society immediately elected Mr. 
Stuart to be their pastor. 1 Dr. Dana's feelings were 
deeply wounded by this procedure ; and in consequence 
of it, he attended public worship for several years, in the 
college chapel. 

After Mr. Stuart had left his charge and gone to 
Andover, Dr. Dana occasionally came back to the old 
meeting-house to join in worship with those who had 
formerly constituted his flock. His presence there was 
grateful to the people, and revived the associations of 
other days. The society expressed by vote their grati- 
fication at seeing him, and their wish that he would, 
worship with them statedly. The gentleman who 
presented him a copy of the vote, gave Dr. Bacon the 
following account of the interview : " Dr. Dana," said 
he, " I have a communication for you from the society." 
" Please to read it sir," said the old man in reply, putting 
the paper back into the hands of the other, and straight- 
ening himself up to a little more than his usual dignity. 
The vote was read distinctly, and with due emphasis. 
" Please to read it again, sir," said the Doctor, still 
sitting in stiff and antique dignity, with his thin, ghastly 
countenance unmoved, as if he were something between 
a ghost and a monument. Again the communication 
was read, with earnest desires that it might make a 

I The ordination of Mr Stuart took place on the fifth of March. He 
was dismissed on the ninth of January, 1810, having been invited to the 
professorship of Sacred Literature in the Thelogical Seminary at Andover. 


favorable impression. " It is well," said the old man ; 
and his voice quivered and broke, as he uttered his reply, 
" I know not but that I may say, ' Lord, now lettest thou 
thy servant depart in peace.' " 

When Mr. (afterwards Dr.) N. W. Taylor was or- 
dained, April, 1812, Dr. Dana officiated as Moderator of 
the Council, and gave the charge to the candidate. On 
the first Sabbath after the ordination, Mr. Taylor invited 
him to take his seat in the pulpit ; and there he was 
regularly found every Sabbath, as long as he was able to 
attend public worship. He died after a brief illness, 
August 1 8, 1812, at the age of seventy-seven. His 
funeral sermon was preached by President Dwight. 


Says Dr. Sprague : " When I entered Yale College in 
1811, Dr. Dana was a regular attendant at the public 
service on the Sabbath, in the College chapel. I recol- 
lect him as the mere shadow of a man, tall, slender, and 
in his general appearance more ghostly than any 
human being I remember to have seen. He used to sit 
in the pulpit with Dr. Dwight, and I believe pretty 


uniformly took part in the Communion service. His 
prayers were remarkably solemn, reverential and impres- 
sive. The only other public service I ever heard from 
him was the Charge at the ordination of Mr. Taylor, 
which was pertinent and excellent, and seemed almost 
as if he were speaking it from out of his grave. I had 
never but one interview with him, and my recollection of 
him then is that he was extremely bland and courteous." 1 

Says Professor James L. Kingsley, of Yale College : 
"Dr. Dana, I always thought, had more talent than ap- 
peared from his publications. The circumstances in 
which he was early placed led him to be cautious in his 
language ; and habit so confirmed him in an indefinite 
style of writing that his preaching ordinarily made but 
little impression on an audience. He sometimes preached 
in the College chapel, and I have often remarked that 
for the first third of his sermon he would gain the atten- 
tion of the students ; for the second third it would be 
difficult to say whether he retained it or not ; and for 
the last third he would lose it entirely. His sermons 
had a plan ; but a large part of his audience would 
scarcely perceive it, and were soon lost. Dr. Dana con- 
tinued to write sermons as long as he preached. Old 
sermons he probably sometimes reproduced ; but this he 
did seldom. For the sermons he had once delivered, 
certainly for many of them, he seemed to care little. If 
the fire was failing, I have seen him, to restore it, use a 
sermon or sermons. If the time for tea had arrived, 
and the tea-kettle had not boiled, he would sometimes 
send a sermon into the kitchen, and perhaps with the 
remark, ' it will boil now.' He was the best textuary I 

I Annals of the American Pulpit, i, 569. 


have ever known. He would not only refer at once any 
text to its proper place, but if I asked what were the 
words in any book, chapter, and verse of the Bible, he 
would generally answer correctly. When he had sold 
or given away his Concordance to a young clergyman, 
and some surprise was expressed at his doing it, I 
remember he put a finger to his forehead, and said sport- 
ively, 'My best Concordance I have retained.' From 
his peculiar style of writing, he was sometimes thought 
to mean what he never intended. Thus, when he was 
about leaving his society in New Haven, and he sup- 
posed that he should preach to his people but once 
more, I remember that he said at breakfast on the Sun- 
day when he appeared in his desk for the last time, that 
he should deliver a discourse which he prepared for his 
people in Wallingford, when he left them in circum- 
stances somewhat similar. That is, when he preached 
the discourse, it was doubtful whether he should con- 
tinue any longer in Wallingford, and it was now doubt- 
ful whether he should continue any longer with his 
society in New Haven. He said he had left Wallingford 
with the best feelings on both sides, and that he had no 
wish to say in New Haven any thing which might be 
supposed to proceed from a sense of injury on his part. 
In taking his Wallingford sermon, he thought he should 
escape all danger. The sermon I heard. The text was 
very appropriate for the occasion : Phil. I. 27 ; 'Only 
let your conversation,' &c. The whole of the discourse 
was kind and affectionate. It was thought, however, to 
have been written expressly for the occasion ; and some 
said, ' The Doctor has made some very good hits.' Dr. 
Dana was thought to excel in prayer, especially before 
the Legislature or in Court. His prayers on such occa- 


sions were written and committed to memory. They 
were short and very appropriate. On one occasion, one 
of his friends told him that General P., of the south, 
distinguished as a civilian, but not much distinguished 
for his attendance on public worship, had remarked that 
a prayer which he (Dr. D.) had offered at the opening 
of the Legislature, was the most impressive prayer to 
which he had ever listened. ' How many prayers do 
you think General P. has ever heard ? ' was the reply. 
Dr. Dana was a man of gentlemanly and dignified man- 
ners, and he had a very nice sense of propriety in all 
his intercourse with others." 

Rev. Timothy Mather Cooley, D. D., communicated 
the following letter to Sprague's Annals of the American 

"Granville, May 8, 1854. 
" My Dear Sir : 

" While I was in College, Dr. Dana was minister of the 
First Church in New Haven ; and, during my senior 
year, I had my home in his family. I had, therefore, a 
good opportunity of knowing him ; and cheerfully com- 
ply with your request, in giving you my impressions 
concerning his character. In his person he was strongly 
marked. He was of a tall and slender form, and had a 
sort of shadowy appearance that would have dis- 
tinguished him even in a crowd. He had a sharp, thin 
face ; but his expression was at once benignant and 
highly intellectual ; and his face was a faithful index to 
his character. His riatural temper was free from all 
asperity, and full of kindness and good will. His man- 
ners were in a high degree urbane and gentlemanly, and 
shewed that he had been accustomed always to move in 
the most polished circles. He was one of the most 


agreeable companions I ever knew, with great intel- 
lectual resources and a large fund of anecdote ; and he 
could accommodate himself with the most graceful ease 
to the highest and lowest classes ; and all were equally 
delighted with his conversation. In his dress he was 
remarkably neat, without, however, seeming to be unduly 
particular. His mind undoubtedly, was of a very high 
order. He was an acute metaphysician, and had the 
courage even, to grapple with that intellectual giant of 
his generation the elder Jonathan Edwards. He was a 
remarkably well educated man ; had an exact and culti- 
vated taste, and there were few men of his day in New 
England, whose style of writing was equally pure and 
faultless. As a preacher, Dr. Dana certainly did not 
belong to the most orthodox class in New England. His 
sermons were generally very little of a doctrinal charac- 
ter, and were remarkable rather for a chaste and correct 
style, and excellent practical suggestions, than for a high- 
ly evangelical tone, or for direct and earnest appeals. 
He had uncommon aptness of mind, and would often 
introduce passages of Scripture with most striking 
appropiateness ; as, for instance, in preaching President 
Stiles' funeral sermon, he quoted a passage in reference 
to him concerning Ezra the Scribe. His character as a 
preacher was formed about the middle of the last cen- 
tury, under the influence which then prevailed at Cam- 
bridge and Boston ; and it is probable that the type which 
it then assumed, though it may have been somewhat 
modified, remained substantially* the same during his 
life. The last time I saw Dr. Dana was after he had 
become very old, and had entirely lost his sight. I found 
him however, just as cheerful as when I had known him 
in former years. I asked him whether he did not find 


it difficult to be submissive under so grievous a calamity ; 
and he answered with the most perfect serenity and 
cheerfulness, ' Not at all. I would not double an afflic- 
tion by being unsubmissive under it.' 

" Your affectionate friend and brother, 


The following is believed to be nearly a correct cata- 
logue of his published works : 

Sermon on the death of John Hall, Esq., 1763; Sermon 
on the death of Chas. Whittelsey, 1764; Two Sermons on 
faith and inscrutable Providence, preached at Cambridge, 
1767; A Century Discourse in Wallingford, 1770; An 
examination of Edwards on the will ( anonymous), 1770 ; An 
examination of the same continued, ( with his name), 1773; 
Discourse at the opening of a new place of worship in 
Kensington, 1774; Election Sermon, 1779; Sermon on the 
tragical exit of William Beadle, &c., 1782; Yale College 
subject to the General Assembly, (anonymous), 1784; 
Sermon on the death of Rev. Chauncey Whittelsey, 1787 
Sermon on the nativity of Christ, 1789; Discourse at his 
own installation, 1789 ; Discourse on the African Slave 
Trade, 1790; Discourse at the execution of Joseph Moun- 
tain, 1790; Three Sermons in the American Preacher, 1791 ; 
Discourse at the installation of the Rev. Abiel Holmes, 1792 ; 
Discourse at the ordination of Ebenezer Gay, Jr., 1793 ; Dis- 
course at the ordination of Elijah Waterman, 1794 ; Discourse 
on the folly of practical Atheism, 1794; Discourse on the 
death of President Stiles, 1795 > Two occasional discourses 
at the beginning of the year, 1801 ; Sermon at the ordination 
of Andrew Yates, 1801 ; Sermon on the death of Ebenezer 
Grant, March, 1803 ; Sermon on the character of Scoffers, 
1805 ; Thanksgiving Sermon, 1805 ; f Sermons to young 
people, 1806. 




IN 1724, the number of families within the limits of 
Meriden had increased to thirty-five. The distance to 
Wallingford being great, and the roads bad, they natu- 
rally wished for public worship nearer to their residences. 
Some families had attended the ministry of the Rev. 
William Burnham, of the Great Swamp or Kensington 
parish. 1 According to the custom of that day, however, 
they did not proceed to accomodate themselves in the 
matter, until it had been laid before the town, and their 
express permission obtained. Accordingly in 1724, we 
find a vote that " in respect to the North Farmers that 
they may hire a minister for four months this winter on 
their own charge." In May, 1725, Nathaniel Merriam 
and others petitioned the General Assembly that the 
town of Wallingford at their meeting held April 27, 
1725, had by their vote granted that there should be a 
society in or near the north part of Wallingford, upon 
the condition 

"In s d vote mentioned, and appointed a Committee to 

I "May, 1722: Resolved by this Assembly that the 2d Society in Farm- 
ington, with what of Wethersfield and Middletown is by this Assembly 
annexed thereto, shall for the future be called and known by the name of 


state bounds for s d society or such part thereof as is in- 
tended to be taken out of s d Wallingford which together with 
the lands commonly called Wallingford West Society or to 
Farmington South Society, we hope are and will be capable 
of carrying on and supporting the work of a Society and 
the Gospell ministry among themselves (especially if Mr. 
Belchers farm were added) and the s d Inhabitants living 
very remote from any place of Public worship, viz at the 
distance of 6, 7, and 8 miles and the nearest 4. We 
therefore urged by these pressing Difficulties and encour- 
aged by yo r Hon bles wonted paternal care and goodness do 
Humbly Pray this Hon ble Assembly that we may (with 
the addition of Mr. Belchers farm afforrs d ) be made a 
District society for setting up and carrying on and support- 
ing the Public worship of God among ourselves with such 
Liberties powers and priveledges as other such societies 
have and by law enjoy." 

The above petition was granted exclusive of Mr. 
Belcher's farm, and in 1725, they organized themselves 
into a distinct Ecclesiastical Society ; and that society 
and the territory they occupied, received the present 
name of Meriden. For the next two years they had 
public worship only in the winter season, and their 
meetings were held in a private house. But at the very 
outset, there arose a very serious difficulty as to the 
location of their meeting-house. The inhabitants 
around " Dog's Misery," would naturally desire that the 
church should be as near as possible to their farms ; and 
the people at " Pilgrim's Harbor," " the Old Road," and 
" Milking-yard farms," would be equally desirous of a 
site convenient to themselves. That part of the town, 
now constituting " the center," was then entirely unin- 
habited, or was of so little consequence, that its claims 
in the matter do not appear to have been thought of. 


At length it was decided that the meeting-house should 
be built on the western slope of the hill, still known as 
the " meeting-house hill," in which decision, the " Dog's 
Misery" party had the advantage. In accordance with 
this decision, the materials were all prepared, and col- 
lected at .the chosen spot. But the aggrieved party, 
hoping yet to gain redress, collected men and teams at 
night, and hauled the timbers over a brook, and up a 
hill, to a lot on or near which the old Willard Hall house 
now stands, that being the spot where they wished the 
house to stand. Of course such a step would excite no 
small stir. The other party assembled amidst great ex- 
citement, and loud and bitter was the controversy. A 
town meeting was called, and the very men and teams 
who toiled all night to carry the timbers westward, were 
compelled to haul them back to the old spot, in broad 
daylight, amid the taunts and jeers of the assembled 
people. To them it was more sport in bringing the 
timbers over than in carrying them back. 

Facilis descensus Averni ; 

Sed revocare gradum, . 

Hoc opus, hie labor est. 

The house was then built on the spot first selected. 
It was about thirty feet square, and built in the very 
plainest style. That humble edifice, humble in compar- 
ison with the spacious and beautiful structures that now 
adorn the town, was built and maintained in repair with 
an honorable zeal for public worship. In such a temple, 
our fathers maintained the worship and ordinances of 
God for twenty-eight years, sitting sabbath after sab- 
bath, through a long course of exercises, which would 
weary out the men of our degenerate days. In Decem- 
ber, 1728, Rev. Theophilus Hall began to preach in the 


new meeting-house. October 9, 1729, it was resolved to 
form a church ; and on October 22, after a day of fasting 
and prayer the church was duly organized, and the 
following persons were gathered as the original members : 

JOHN MERRIAM, Jr., and wife, The wife of JOHN IVES, 

NATH'L MERRIAM and wife, The wife of BENJ. CURTIS, 



THOMAS YALE and wife, The wife of WILLIAM HOUGH, 





EZEKIEL ROYCE and wife, The wife of DANIEL HARRIS, 

ABEL ROYCE and wife, The wife of S. ANDREWS, 

BENJ. ROYCE and wife, The wife of TIM. JEROM, 


DAN. BALDING and wife, The wife of W. MERRIAM, 

AMOS CAMP and wife, The wife of JAS. ROYCE, 



JOHN WAY and wife. 

The Rev. Theophilus Hall was the first pastor of the 
church. He was born in Wallingford, April i, 1707, 
and was the son of Samuel and Love Hall. He was 
graduated at Yale College in 1727, and was ordained 
first pastor of the church in Meriden, Oct. 29, 1729, 
where he remained until his death, March 25, 1767, in 
the sixtieth year of his age. In his personal appear- 
ance he was quite small in stature, and with suavity 
of temper and dignity of manners, he united the greatest 
affability. Persuaded of the truth of Christianity, and 
deeply sensible of its importance, he was well able to 


defend it. Feeling the truth, dignity and importance 
of his subject, in composing his sermons, he seemed 
to have caught the fervor of St. Paul in delivering 
them. Diligent to know the state of his flock, and 
naturally caring for it, his pastoral visits were frequent 
and judiciously conducted. Dr. Dana said of him 
that he was " a man of strong intellectual powers, 
much esteemed as a preacher, of great firmness and 
stability, and a zealous advocate for civil and religious 
liberty." During his ministry about two hundred and 
fifty person were added to the church. Self-denying, 
humble, prayerful, full of love for souls, and faithful to 
the cause of Christ, he unquestionably was. Geoffrey 
Chaucer, the father of English poetry, draws his 
picture in the following description of a parish priest : 

" A good man there was of religion, 

He was a poor parson of a town, 

But rich he was of holy thought and werk, 

He was a learned man, a clerk, 

That Christe's Gospel trewely wolde preche ; 

His parishens devoutly wolde tech, 

Benign he was, and wonder diligent, 

And in adversity full patient. 


Wide was his parish and houses far asunder, 

But he ne left nought for no rain ne thunder, 

In sickness and in mischeefe to visite, 

The feerest in his parish, moche and lite, 

Upon his fete, and in his hand a staff. 

But if were any person obstinat, 

What so he were of high or low estat, 

Him would he snibben sharply for the nones. " 

Mr. Hall left a widow and seven children. His eldest 
son, the Rev. Avery Hall, was pastor of a church in 


Rochester, N. Y The second daughter, Eunice, mar- 
ried the Rev. Andrew Lee, D. D., of Lisbon, Conn., 
Oct. 15, 1768. Mr. Hall published two sermons on the 
death of Rev. Isaac Stiles ; two sermons on Faith ; and 
a sermon delivered at the ordination of the Rev. Mat- 
thew Merriam, of Berwick, Me. 1 Mr. Hall lived in a 
house, not now in existence, which stood on the lot 
where the present Willard Hall house now stands, on 
Curtis street, near the city line. He also owned a farm 
of about one hundred acres, which comprised all the 
central part of the town. It was bounded by a line 
drawn from the Town House, and running southerly 
about one hundred rods, then easterly to a point near 
the grounds of the old Catholic Church, corner of Olive 
and Broad streets, thence northerly to the head of 
Liberty street, and thence to the point of departure. 
On this farm he built a house for his son. That house 
now stands in its original location, and is occupied as 
the Central Hotel. 

In 1750, the subject began to be agitated in regard to 
building a new house, and Mr. Hall offered to give the 
land which was near the place where the Center Congre- 
gational church now stands, which was nearly a mile 
north of the old church. This place met with much 
opposition, and April 17, 1752, Ezekiel Royce and 
Daniel Hough petitioned the General Assembly that 
the place set by the committee appointed for that pur- 
pose, " is upon Rev. Mr. Theophilus Hall's land, which 
renders it impracticable to use the place for the purpose 
proposed The committee supposing the center 

I Mr. Merriam was a native of Wallingforcl, and was graduated at Yale 
College in 1759. He was ordained pastor of the church at Berwick, Me., 
in September, 1765, and died in January, 1797. 


of the society to be north of the place set, where truly 
it ought to be esteemed by reason of much mountainous 
and waste land in the northern part of said society." 
The petitioners went on to show that another place 
south of the place set by the said committee was much 
more commodious, and to which the people might resort 
with less travel. The petition was not granted, and the 
church was built in 1755. It was about sixty feet long 
and fifty broad. Originally it was without steeple or 
bell, but in 1803 a steeple was added and a bell pro- 
cured. This house was occupied for public worship 
seventy-six years. 

At the time- 1 of the decease of the Rev. Mr. Hall, the 
church in Meriden was in special relation to the neigh- 
boring elders and churches, as a member of the Conso- 
ciation of New Haven county. Churches standing in 
this relation, had esteemed it their duty to consult the 
association in times of pastoral bereavement with regard 
to a suitable candidate to be improved upon probation 
in order to settlement. Many of the society earnestly 
requested that the society would pursue this common 
and orderly practice, which the majority refused ; and at 
the same time, Oct. 5, 1767, voted to invite Mr. Hubbard, 
a clergyman reputed unsound in the great principles of 
the gospel, to preach four Sabbaths upon probation. 
This vote was not unanimous, as forty-two were in favor 
of the call, and twenty-one opposed it. At the society 
meeting, the votes on the proposal to present a call to 
Mr. Hubbard stood, sixty-five in the affirmative and 
thirty-seven in the negative. They also voted to give 
him a settlement, as it was called ; that is, a gift of one 
hundred pounds at his settlement, and an annual salary 
of eighty pounds, which was about equal to $250 ; one 


half of which was to be paid in wheat, rye and corn. 
But the division indicated by these votes appears to 
have been a very serious one, and the feelings excited in 
the church very strong. On the twelfth of October, 
forty-seven 1 of the society preferred a petition to said 
society, entreating that they would advise with the asso- 
ciation as usual, relative to a candidate for settlement, or 
that application might be made to either of the associa- 
tions in the Colony to advise them in that important 
affair, objecting at the same time against Mr. Hubbard, 
on account of his general character for unsoundness 
in the great doctrines of the gospel. The major party 
notwithstanding, on the second of November following, 
did by their vote, invite Mr. Hubbard to settle among 
them in the work of the ministry. The minor party upon 
this, invited the Consociation of the County to meet in 
Meriden, and exhibited a complaint to the Association 
alleging that his introduction as a candidate among 
them was irregular, and that his principles were heret- 
ical. Being regularly notified to appear before the Asso- 
ciation, and he making no objection with regard to the 
shortness of the time given him, nor intimating that he 
desired more, or would ever answer to the complaint be- 
fore the Association ; but denying their right of juris- 
diction, the Association rcalled his recommendation to 
the churches, and so far as they were concerned, silenced 
him. The church proceeded nevertheless, and invited a 
council to assemble, Dec. 29, 1 767, to ordain Mr. Hub- 
bard. They met, but on the same day, the Consociation 

I It ought properly to have been forty-three ; for four signed after the 
meeting, which made the whole number forty-seven. These four were 
against Mr. Hubbard at the time of the meeting, but had not opportunity 
then to sign. 


of the county also assembled in Meriden at the invita- 
tion of the minority. The council prepared to ordain 
Mr. Hubbard, agreeably to the wishes of the majority ; 
the Consociation assembled to aid and advise the 
minority in opposing the ordination. There was thus 
presented the unseemly spectacle of two ecclesiastical 
bodies, assembled as rallying points for the two little 
parties into which the church was divided. Both of 
these bodies remained in session four days, sending 
from one to the other, letters, resolutions and remon- 
strances, becoming themselves more and more excited, 
and of course, exasperating the feud among the people 
which had already become intense. 

Mr. Hubbard had for many years been reported 
unsound in some important articles of the Christian 
faith, and the Association might possibly with justice 
have called him to give a new account of his principles 
before; but he being generally employed in other busi- 
ness, and no complaint being exhibited against him, the 
Association, whether out of neglect, or tenderness to 
Mr. Hubbard, never took the matter into consideration 
until he preached at Meriden on probation, when a 
formal complaint being exhibited against him, and he 
refusing to vindicate himself, the Association thought 
they could not answer a good conscience, unless they 
proceeded as related above. The major part, notwith- 
standing, agreed with Mr. Hubbard to settle with them 
as their pastor, and invited a council to ordain him, who 
having met and heard the whole affair, and considered 
the broken state of the society, were of the opinion that 
it was not best to ordain him. 

But it seems the difficulties only became worse. The 
next May session, the minor party applied to the 


Assembly for relief, who granted them a committee to 
hear the affairs of the society and look into the state of 
it, and make report thereof; which they afterwards did, 
and the Assembly released the aggrieved from all taxes 
to Mr. Hubbard, until the rising of the next Assembly ' 
The committee from the Assembly, previous to their 
report, advised to the calling in a number of ministers 
and lawyers, whom they particularly named, as a council 
to advise the parish in their broken and unhappy cir- 
cumstances. The minor party in compliance with their 
advice, agreed to call in the reverend gentlemen 
nominated by said committee, viz., the Rev. Messrs. 
Devotion, Salter, Strong, Welles, Johnson, Cogswell and 
Huntington of Coventry, as a council for advice; and 
declared by a writing 2 under their hand that they would 

1 This petition which was preferred at the May session, was not heard 
until the session in October following. "In April, 1768, twenty-eight per- 
sons petitioned the General Assembly that the society at Meriden was 
destitute of a pastor, and invited Rev. John Hubbard Jr. of New Haven to 
preach ; a man reputed unsound in gospel doctrines, against whom the 
memorialists presented a complaint to the Association, who revoked his 
license. Yet the Society agreed, November 1767, with him for settlement, 
and fixed the time for the ordination, which they could not obtain. They 
then hired him, and laid a tax to support preaching, and to avoid being 
called to account for disorderly proceedings, the church and society have 
removed the Ecclesiastical constitution established by law. The petition- 
ers prayed that they might be freed from paying rates and charges, and 
allowed to hire a minister among themselves." This petition was signed 
by John Ives, Elijah Scovill, Samuel Penfield, Isaac Hall 3d, Brenton 
Hall, Dan. Collins, Levi Yale, Amos Camp Jr., Timothy Ives, Abel Yale, 
Edward Collins, Elisha Scovill, Yale Bishop, Peter Penfield, Isaac Hall, 
Ebenezer Prindle, Amos Camp, Nathaniel Penfield, Reynold Beckwith, 
Noah Yale, Gideon Ives, Stephen Perkins, John Hall, Samuel Scovill, 
David Hall, Elnathan Ives, John Berry. October 4, 1769, fifty-four peti- 
tioners desired that the memorial should be prosecuted. 

2 The proposal was in these words : "That the Rev. Ebenezer Devotion, 
Mr. Salter, Mr. Strong of Coventry, Mr. Welles of Stamford, Mr. Johnson 


follow their advice, until ready for ordination, and that 
these gentlemen should nominate an ordaining council 
for them. With this agreement which was delivered to 
the society signed by the minor part, the major part of 
the society refused a compliance ; and after much pains 
taken, finding that they could obtain no one in the 
colony who would assist them in the ordination of Mr. 
Hubbard, excepting the two Elders, who were particu- 
larly interested in the affair, and had before given their 
judgment in the matter, they prevailed upon four gentle- 
men, with delegates from two neighboring colonies ( one 
nevertheless, even of this number being a brother by 
marriage to the pastor elect, and in this respect disquali- 
fied to judge in such an affair) to assist them in 
conjunction with the others above mentioned. In 
October, 1768, Isaac Hall, and others, members of the 
society of Meriden, petitioned the General Assembly, 
after stating the particulars of the settlement of Mr. 

"That there is near one half of the Society in Number 
and List who cannot in Conscience attend his ministry, 

of Lyme, Mr. Cogswell of Canterbury, and Huntington of Coventry, shall 
be a committee with whom we will advise respecting a Candidate for 
Settlement among us in the work of the Gospel Ministry; and whose 
advice we will follow from Time to Time, 'till we are ready for Ordination. 
And that whenever we are agreed in a Candidate, and desire his ordination 
these same Ministers with Delegates from their respective Churches, shall 
be the Council to ordain him ; or we will be advised by them in choosing 
a Council and will send for such, and such only as they shall advise to." 
This proposal was introduced with a preamble setting forth the willingness 
and desire of the minor part, to unite with their brethren upon any 
reasonable terms. That they made this proposal in compliance with the 
advice of the commissioners from the " Honorable General Assembly," 
and that they would abide by it. The writing bore date January 9, 1769. 
Sealed proposals had been before made by the aggrieved, much to the 
same purpose. 


that said Society have laid a tax on the members of it to 
pay Mr. Hubbard for preaching, and defray the charges of 
his intended ordination. That by their continuing him in 
said Society no minister can be settled, nor any orthodox 
regular Candidate be introduced or improved. That said 
Society and Church have renounced the Ecclesiastical 
Constitution of this Colony so that they cannot be called 
to an account by an Ecclesiatical Council. Though the 
Memorialists continue to adhere to the established Con- 
stitution, which they highly value and praying for relief &c., 
as per Memorial on file. Resolved by this Assembly that 
Joseph Spencer, Zebulon West, Esq., and Mr. Jonathan 
Welles, he and they are hereby appointed a Committee to 
repair to said Meriden, with full Power and Authority to 
examine all the Matters and Things complained of in 
said Memorial or relating thereto, and the State of said 
Society, and to hear all the concerned, and to make Report 
of what they shall find with their opinion thereon to this 
or the next General Assembly to be holden at Hartford in 
May next, and that in the meantime the tax mentioned in 
said Memorial be not levied upon the Memorialists and 
those who have been aggrieved with said Proceedings of 
said Society." 

In October, 1769, it was resolved that all persons who 
entered their names with the Town Clerk at Wallingford 
before the expiration of six months should be exempted 
from paying any rates laid and imposed by the society 
for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the settle- 
ment and support of Mr. Hubbard. The same year a 
committee was appointed to make inquiries, &c., and 
reported that the list of the Meriden society was 
^8420 i6s. id. 

"Major party list, lawful voters, ^4732 lu. gd. 
Major party, unlawful voters, 415 18 3 


Minor party, lawful voters, ^3020 igs $d. 
Minor party, unlawful voters, 162 10 

List of neutral and non-residents, 723 19 6." 

They thought a division would be ruinous to both 
parties ; " but to oblige the minor party to pay taxes to 
such a preacher, is an infringement of their rights, and 
they recommend a council." The minor party said in 
their petition, September, 1770, that the church and 
society continued on the Saybrook platform, during the 
life of their late pastor, from which the major party had 
withdrawn, but excluded the petitioners from the meet- 
ing-house which the major party had forfeited. They 
prayed to be recognized as the First Society, with right 
to possess the house, and that a committee be appointed. 
This petition was signed by Isaac Hall, Amos Camp, 
Nathaniel Penfield, Noah Yale, Elnathan Ives, Gideon 
Ives, Moses Mitchell and John Berry. The committee 
appointed, reported that the major party taxed the chil- 
dren of the minor party when they came of age ; which 
they thought should be refunded, and the children of all 
when they came of age, and persons coming into the 
society, might choose to which party they belong. In 
October, 1774, eight petitioners who joined the minor 
party, found the charges against Mr. Hubbard without 
foundation, and returned ; but the minor party continued 
to tax them ; they prayed therefore for a release, which 
was negatived. The petition was signed by James 
Scovill, Daniel Baldwin, Divan Berry, Benjamin Rexford, 
John Morgan, Thomas Mix, Jr., Daniel Baldwin, Jr., and 
Benjamin Ford. The affair seems to have excited a 
good deal of attention throughout the state ; for letters 
and statements respecting all these proceedings appeared 
in the papers, and several pamphlets were published, in 


which the affair, with all its bearings, and the principles 
involved, were earnestly discussed. 

At length, June 22, 1769, after nearly two years of 
unhappy controversy, Mr. Hubbard was ordained, and 
the Rev. Chauncey Whittelsey, of New Haven, preached 
the ordination sermon. But so strong was the feeling 
among the ministers of the State, that few would take 
any part in the ordination ; and a council, composed 
principally of persons out of the State, convened at 
Meriden, and performed the required ceremonies. 1 In 
consequence of his settlement a portion of the church 
and society seceded, organized themselves as a separate 
body and maintained public worship. They met for 
some years in a private house, belonging to Captain 
Shaler, situated near the spot where the house of Mr. 
George P. Hall now stands, on the road leading to the 
north-east part of the town, and about one mile from the 
center. In 1770, there were but eight or nine families 
who met there. Gradually they all returned, as Mr. 

I In a " Letter from the Association of the County of New Haven to 
the Reverend Elders in the Colony of Rhode Island and Massachusetts- 
Bay who assisted at the Ordination of Rev. John Hubbard," printed at 
New Haven in 1770; the writer says, " It was extraordinary that among 
so large a number of unexceptionable candidates as were to be found in 
the colony, they should fix upon one whose character for many years had 
been exceptionable ! It was extraordinary, that after a trial of four Sab- 
baths, and almost fifty in opposition, that they should invite him to settle- 
ment ! It was extraordinary, that after his License was regularly recalled, 
they should continue their invitation ! It was extraordinary that a Council 
of Judges of their own choosing should not judge agreeable to their minds ! 
There were, doubtless, extraordinary circumstances attending the Society, 
that a Council could not be obtained in the Colony, who would proceed to 
ordination ! It was extraordinary, that when the union was so small, and 
the matter was properly under the consideration of the Assembly, that the 
Church and Society should so strenuously urge the Ordination ! These 
things indeed are unusual and may well be termed extraordinary ! " p. 10. 


Hubbard's unusually kind and amiable disposition, and 
his persevering course of conciliatory conduct, slowly 
affected the minds of those who had opposed him. 

Mr. Hubbard's great error appears to have consisted 
in his being in advance of the age in which he lived. 
In his examination he doubted that Christ was coeval 
with the Father ; and when he was asked what he un- 
derstood by the words "In the beginning," he said, "the 
Scripture was somewhat silent, and he chose not to say 
much about it." In his confession of faith, there is 
nothing that affords the least evidence that he believed 
the doctrine of original sin, in the sense in which Cal- 
vinistic divines have generally understood it ; but the 
contrary. Mr. Hubbard also rejected the doctrine of 
" original righteousness ;" but believed that man resem- 
bled God, or was made in his image, as He was a 
rational, intelligent being, and as he was Lord and 
Governor of the new made world, and upright, as he 
was made capable of righteousness. Not that man had 
any holiness or conformity to the moral perfections of 
his Creator, in his state of innocence. This was held 
to be the grossest Arminianism. Mr. Hubbard was 
held to be unsound in the doctrine of the " Saint's Per- 
severance, and of " Regeneration," as generally under- 
stood by the Calvinistic divines. Says a writer of that 

" It was an important Duty which Mr. Hubbard owed to 
himself, to clear up his character, and give full Satisfaction 
that he believed the great Doctrines of the Divinity of our 
Blessed Saviour ; of Original Sin, the Perseverance of the 
Saints, and Regeneration, as received and held in these 
Churches, if he could have done it consistent with the Truth. 
He was bound, in Duty, to do it, as the Honor of God, 


and his own Peace and Welfare all his Days, were greatly 
concerned in it. The Peace and Edification of the Church 
and Society of Meriden, and all the Churches in general 
required it. This would have made all Things easy and 
quiet at Meriden ; for the aggrieved Brethren respected Mr. 
Hubbard's Person, and would by no Means have opposed his 
Settlement, could they have been satisfied with Regard to his 
religious Sentiments. The Churches would have all rejoiced 
to have been satisfied in this Matter, and used their utmost 
Influence to have made his Life peaceful and happy. He 
must therefore, be highly guilty and inexcusable, in not doing 
it, provided it could have been done with a good Conscience. 
These Things, he doubtless well knew. Can any Man there- 
fore, in his Senses, imagine that he would not have done it 
when every engaging Prospect and Motive urged him to it, 
had not his Sentiments been really different from what is es- 
teemed sound and orthodox in these churches ?"' 

Rev. Mr. Hubbard was born in New Haven, in a 
house that stood on Chapel street, near the corner now 
occupied by the New Haven Hotel, January 24, 1742. 
He was graduated at Yale College in 1744. His father 
was Dr. John Hubbard, born at Jamaica, L. I., Novem- 
ber 30, I7O3, 2 and married in 1724 to Mrs. Elizabeth 
Stevens. He left eight children, of whom John was the 

1 Remarks on the Confession of Faith and Examination of Mr. Hub- 
bard; New Haven, 1770. 

2 The following is taken from the New Haven Journal, and the New Ha- 
ven Post Boy, dated Friday, Nov. 5, 1773: "Last Saturday, Colonel, (that 
is Dr. ) John Hubbard, departed this life ; who for many years, has been 
one and the chief, of the civil authority, and Representative of this town, 
Judge of Probate for this district, and one of the Judges of the Court of 
Common Pleas for the County of New Haven. A gentleman of superior 
genius, delicate taste, and good education, an honest, faithful man, an able, 
upright Judge, and Exemplary Christian ; who having served his genera- 
tion by the will of God, fell asleep, with a hope full of immortality, 
grounded on the grace of the gospel, ae. 70. 



eldest. Rev. John Hubbard married first Rebecca Dick- 
erman, January 25, 1750, by whom he left two sons, John 
and Isaac. 1 He married second, Mary Russell. About 
the year 1783, Mr. Hubbard was seriously injured by being 
thrown from his sleigh, and thereby disabled from preach- 
ing. He lingered until November 18, 1 786, when he died 
in the sixtieth year of his age. He built and occupied a 
house that stood near where the residence of Mr. Edward 
Miller now stands, and which now stands a few rods 
south, on the east side of Broad street. Mr. Hubbard 
was a man of about the middle size, with an unusually 
pleasant and benignant countenance. His pleasing 
manners and amiable disposition won for him the affec- 
tions of the people. As a preacher he was animated 
and interesting. The Connecticut Journal, dated New 
Haven, Wednesday, November 22, 1786, says: 

"On the i8th inst, died Rev. John Hubbard, senior pastor 
of the church in Meriden, in the 6oth year of his age. 
After receiving a liberal education in Yale College, where 
he graduated in 1744, he at length settled in the ministry 
at Meriden. Here he labored to good acceptance, and 
Apostolic fidelity for a number of years until, by the provi- 
dence of God, he was disabled from his work, about two 

i John was born January 14, 1751. He married Anna Atwater, in 1775, 
by whom he had one son, John, who was born January 14, 1778. His wife 
died February 2, 1778. In May, 1779, he was married to Martha Bradley, 
by whom he had five children. The first was born March i, 1780, and 
died in infancy; Anna was born June 15, 1782; Russell was born Oct. 
1 8, 1784; William was born July, 24, 1787; Dana was born Aug. 17, 
1789. Isaac, the second son of Rev. John Hubbard, was born Nov. 22, 
1752. He married Jane, daughter of Thomas Berry, Dec. 5, 1782, by 
whom he had seven children: Rebecca, born Nov. 25, 1783 ; Mary, born 
Dec. 24, 1785; Thomas, born Jan. 9, 1788; Isaac, born July 7, 1790, and 
died Feb. 17, 1812; John, born April 21, 1792 ; Ezra Stiles, born May 13, 
1794; Elizabeth, born Sept 20, 1796. 


years since. The Rev. Mr. Willard was last June ordained 
colleague pastor with him. His interment was on Monday 
last, when the Rev. Dr. Dana preached a sermon suitable 
to the occasion, after which the funeral was attended, both 
by his relatives, and by an affectionate and mournful flock, 
with every mark of esteem and respect towards a beloved 
and worthy pastor, and a character venerable for piety and 
virtue. He entertained the highest ideas of the dignity 
and Divinity of Jesus Christ, of salvation by sovereign grace, 
of the merits of the Redeemer's atonement, and his glorious 
righteousness, which he judged the only foundation of a 
sinner's justification and acceptance with God, while he was 
a firm advocate for moral virtue and real holiness of heart 
and life. Very useful was he to his people during his min- 
istry, and never was a pastor more sincerely beloved by his 
flock, which, in his visitations as well as in the ministrations 
of the sanctuary, beheld his face, as it had been the face 
of an Angel, for he was conversant among them with gravity, 
prudence, wisdom and benevolence." 1 

I Mr. Hubbard descended from an honorable line of ancestry. As 
early as 1630, ten years after the Pilgrim Fathers set their feet on Plymouth 
Rock, Mr. Wm. Hubbard left his island home, and crossed a trackless 
ocean to seek a home amid the wilds of America. After a few years he 
established himself at Ipswich, Mass., which town he represented in the 
General Court six years, between 1638 and 1646. He afterward removed 
to Boston, and died about 1670, leaving three sons, William, Richard and 
Nathaniel. William, the eldest, was born in England, in 1621 ; came to 
this country with his father when about nine years of age ; was educated 
at Harvard College, and received his Bachelor degree at the age of 21 
years, with the first class that graduated at Harvard College. From the 
time that he left college till he had passed the age of thirty-five no record 
of his life remains ; but it is ascertained that, during this period he studied 
theology, and was, for some time, an assistant to the Rev. Mr. Cobbet of 
Ipswich. About the year 1656 he was ordained as colleague with Mr. 
Cobbet, who, though in the prime of life, required an assistant, on account 
of the great extent of his ministerial labours. Mr. Hubbard employed 
much of his time in historical investigations. His first work was a narra- 
tive of the troubles with the Indians in 1676 7, with a supplement 
concerning the war with the Pequots in 1637, to which is annexed a table 


Rev. John Willard, from Stafford, Ct, was settled as 
colleague pastor in June, 1786, a few months before the 

and postscript of twelve pages. Also a narrative of the troubles with the 
Indians in New England, from Piscataqua to Paumaquid. The whole was 
published at Boston in 1677. The same work was printed in London, in 
1677, under the title of "The Present State of New England." An edition 
of fifty copies in two vols. royal 8vo was printed at Albany in 1865. A 
copy of the original edition was sold at auction in New York in 1864, from 
the library of Mr. Andrew Wight, for one hundred and thirty-five dollars. 
Mr. Hubbard's "History of New England" was completed in 1680, but 
was not published until 1815. In 1682 the author received .50 from the 
General Court "as a manifestation of thankfulness" for this history, "he 
transcribing it fairly, that it may be more easily perused." Mr. Hubbard 
died September 14, 1704, at the age of eighty-three years. He married 
Margaret, daughter of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, and granddaughter of the 
Rev. John Rogers, who was burnt at the stake in Smithfield, England, 
Feb. 4, 1555. At the age of seventy-three, Mr. Hubbard married for a 
second wife, Mary, the widow of Samuel Pearce. His children were John, 
Nathaniel, and Margaret. John the eldest, and his wife Ann, were living 
in Boston in 1680. Margaret married John Pynchon, Esq., of Springfield. 
Rev. John Huhbard, grandson of Rev. William Hubbard of Ipswich, was 
born at Ipswich, Mass., in 1677 ;was graduated at Harvard College in 1695, 
and settled as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Long Island, 
in 1698; where after a ministry of seven years, he died October 5, 1705, aged 
twenty-eight years and nine months. A particular account of his death 
may be found in the Boston News Letter of October 22, 1705, No. 79. Dr. 
John Hubbard, son of Rev. John of Jamaica, was born at Jamaica, Long 
Island, Nov. 30, 1703. At the age of two years he lost his father, after 
which, he, with his mother, removed to Boston, where he received the rudi- 
ments of a good education at a grammar school. We next find the family 
in Hartford, Conn., where his mother was married to Rev. Samuel Wood- 
bridge of East Hartford. At the age of seventeen Dr. Hubbard was ap- 
prenticed to a physician. In 1724 he was married to Mrs. Elizabeth Stevens, 
and two years after removed to New Haven. In 1730, the Rector and Trus- 
tees of Yale College conferred the honorary degree of Master of Arts upon 
Dr. John Hubbard " for his eminent attainments in Latin and Greek, as well 
as in Philosophy, Medicine, Poetry and Belles-lettres attainments chiefly 
due to his own native enthusiasm and unaided efforts." Dr. Hubbard had 
eight children ; John, born Jan. 24, 1727; Daniel, born Dec. 24, 1729; 
Elizabeth, born July 3, 1731; William, born March 20, 1733; William 
Abdial, born Dec. 15, 1736; Stephen Whitehead, born Jan. 16, 1747; 
Leverett and Amelia. The eldest son was the Rev. John Hubbard of 


death of Mr. Hubbard. 1 His salary was ;ioo, about 
equal to $330, and thirty cords of wood annually ; and 
by agreement the wood was to be taken at 8s. per cord. 
He also received a settlement, as it was then termed, of 
,200. Since that time, the custom of making dona- 
tions at the settlement of a pastor once almost univer- 
sal in our Churches has been entirely abandoned here, 
and throughout the State. 

At the time of Mr. Willard's ordination, serious diffi- 
culties arose in the Congregation, similar in their origin 
to those which appeared at the settlement of Mr. Hub- 
bard. The Theological doctrines, styled Arminianism 
and Calvinism, were then warmly debated throughout 
the State, and had their respective advocates among the 
ministers and churches. It seems that Mr. Willard's 
doctrinal sentiments on some of these controverted 
points, were distasteful to a portion of the people, and 
they consequently opposed his settlement. Although 
there was no organized secession from the church on 
account of these differences, yet the dissatisfaction re- 
mained and increased. Very great numbers during his 
ministry, either deserted public worship altogether, or 

Meriden. See Holmes' Am. Ann., i. Hutchinson's Hist. Mass. Mass. 
Hist Coll., vn. Felt's Hist. Ipswich. Eliot's Biog. Diet. Young's Chron. 
Felt's Eccl. Hist. N. E., i. Am. Quar. Reg. for Nov., 1835. Thompson's 
Hist, of Long Island, II. 108. Sprague's Annals, I. 148. Turtle's Hist. 
Sketch of Hon. William Hubbard. 

i The following were chosen a council for the purpose of ordaining Mr. 
Willard : Rev. Ezra Stiles, D. D., President of Yale College ; Rev. 
Joseph Willard, President of Cambridge College ; Rev. James Dana, 
D. D.; Elizur Go.odrich, D. D. ; Rev. Chauncey Whittelsey ; Rev. John 
Willard ; Rev. Jesse Ives ; Rev. Enoch Huntington ; Rev. John March ; 
Rev. Nathan Williams ; Rev. Charles Beers ; Rev. Benjamin Trumbull ; 
Rev. Thomas Minor; Rev. John Lewis; Rev. John Foot; Rev. Nathan 
Fenn; Rev. Abner Benedict; Rev. Benoni Upson ; Rev. Wm. Robinson. 


transferred themselves to other denominations ; so that 
the congregation was very much diminished and 
weakened. In consequence of which Mr. Willard was 
dismissed in the year 1802. He subsequently removed 
to Vermont, where he died. He is said to have been in 
his personal appearance, very tall and slender, and to 
have preached with a good deal of animation. While 
residing in Meriden he built and occupied the house now 
owned and used by Mr. Hiram Yale on North Broad, at 
the head of Liberty street. 

In February, 1803, Rev. Erastus Ripley 1 was settled. 
His salary was four hundred dollars. In the course of 
his ministry his congregation rapidly diminished. Great 
numbers joined themselves to other denominations, and 
at one time it seemed as if the church would become 
quite extinct. He was dismissed in February, 1822, 
after a ministry of nineteen years. During his ministry 
one hundred were added to the church. Mr. Ripley was 
a very large and commanding man in his personal 
appearance, and possessed of a strong mind. But his 
manner of preaching was dry, metaphysical, and desti- 
tute of all animation. While here he built and occupied 

I Mr. Ripley was the ninth child of Joshua and Elizabeth (Lathrop) 
Ripley, and was born at Windam, Ct, June 17, 1770. He belonged to a 
family which has furnished a good many Congregational ministers. He 
was graduated at Yale College in 1775, and was a licentiate of the New 
Haven East Association in 1797. He supplied the church at Brookfield 
(Newbury,) from March, 1800, till April, 1811. He was ordained at 
Meriden, February, 1803; dismissed February, 1822; was installed at 
Goshen parish, now Lebanon, Sept. 24, 1823, and dismissed February 16, 
1832. He then supplied the church at Montville about three years, and 
finally returned to Meriden, where he died November 17, 1843, ae. 73. In 
1829 he published a sermon on the Evil and Cure of Intemperance. He 
married Elizabeth, sister of Rev. Jno. Sherman, and had no children. His 
wife died November 3, 1834. 


25 6 



m ; 7, Edward Collins ; 9, Gen. Walter Booth ; 12, Salmon Merriman ; 
16, Store ; 17, Lorrin Merriam ; 18, A. Merriam ; 19, Barn ; 20, J. S. 
Merriam ; 22, Store ; 24, L. Green ; 25, Store ; 26, Major Cowles ; 28, 
Caleb Austin; 30, S. Perkins; 31, Griswold ; 34, Barnes; 35, Capt. 

J. Mecorney ; 37, Orren Belden ; 38, F. Farrington ; 39, Tyler's Tin 
c Holt ; 41, Church ; 42, Episcopal Church ; 43, Seth Plum ; 44, Amos 

Clark; 46, Baptist Church; 47, W. Yale; 48, Tin Shop; 49, John 
ite; 51, Barn; 52, Blacksmith Shop ; 53, D. Dayton; 54, Lyman Col- 
56. Esq. Andrews ; 57, Ivah Yale; 58, Tavern; 59, Barn; 61, Lewis; 
ordan's Factory ; 64, Distillery ; 65, J. Hall < 66, Samuel Yale ; 67, Ben- 

W. Martin; 70, Rev. Mr. Ripley; 71, G. Plimet; 72, Watrous ; 74, 

ngraved it was discovered that the artist had made a few mistakes. Above Edward Col- 
>ny road, and on the same side, were houses of Noah Foster, Patrick Clark, Jesse Curtis, 
he other side, and above Darius Benham's, were the houses of Matthew Foster, Samuel 
i Twiss, Stephen Bailey, and Sidney Merriman, near whose house stood the old stone fort. 




i w 


the house opposite the residence of Deacon Walter 
Booth, on North Broad street. 

Rev. Charles J. Hinsdale, 1 commenced preaching in 
Meriden September 22, 1822 ; and after preaching five 
Sabbaths, he was ordained and installed January 15, 
1823. During his ministry, the church and congregation 
increased very much in numbers and prosperity, and 
about fifty were added to the church. There were re- 
peated revivals of religion, and a new house of worship 
erected, at a cost of $7000. Its dimensions were 
seventy-three feet long, and fifty feet wide. He was 
dismissed in December, 1833, after a ministry of eleven 
years. His salary in Meriden was five hundred and fifty 

Rev. William McLain supplied the church one year, 
from 1834 to 1835. He was afterwards for many years 
secretary of the American Colonization Society. 

In March, 1836, Rev. Arthur Granger was settled. 2 
He was dismissed in July, 1838, and became pastor of 
the South church, Middletown, from April, 1839, to 
May, 1844, when he was called to the High street 
church, Providence, R. I., where he died about 1846. In 
1837, Rev. Mr. Ludlow attempted to deliver a lecture 
in the Congregational church on the subject of slavery, 
when he was interrupted by a mob, who attempted to 

1 Mr. Hinsdale was born at Newark, N. J. ; was graduated at Yale Col- 
lege in 1815; was installed at Blandford, Mass, January 20, 1836, where 
he now lives. 

2 At the installation of Mr. Granger, Rev. Mr. Noyes made the introduc- 
tory prayer ; Rev. Mr. Shepherd made the installing prayer ; Rev. Joel 
Hawes preached the sermon ; Rev. Mr. Gilbert gave the right hand of fel- 
lowship ; Rev. Mr. Whitmore gave the charge to the pastor; Rev. Mr. 
Button gave the charge to the people ; Rev. Mr. Griggs made the con- 
cluding prayer. 


break up the meeting. The doors were locked, but 
were broken down, and Mr. Ludlow was made a target 
for rotten eggs and other missiles, and was obliged to 
flee for his life. A long and tedious lawsuit followed 
this affair, in which a number of prominent persons of 
the town were engaged. We have elsewhere given a 
full history of this affair. 

From 1840 to 1841, Rev. Charles Rich supplied the 
pulpit, but declined a settlement. 1 

May 19, 1841, the Rev. George W. Perkins was in- 
stalled pastor of the church. 2 The next year twenty- 

1 Mr. Rich was the son of a Boston merchant, Benjamin Rich. He 
went to sea for a short time, became a methodist preacher ; afterward 
entered Yale College, where he was graduated in 1838; studied Theology 
at New Haven, and after leaving Meriden was settled for a short time at 
Washington, D. C., and also at Nantucket, Mass. He afterwards retired 
from the ministry. 

2 George William Perkins was born at Hartford, Feb. 22, 1804. His 
father was Enoch Perkins, a lawyer of that city. His mother was Anna 
Pitkin, a daughter of Rev. Timothy Pitkin, of Farmington, Conn. The 
great grandfather of Mr. Perkins, on his mother's side, was the Rev. Tho- 
mas Clap, for twenty-seven years President of Yale College. Mr. Perkins 
took a high rank as a scholar, and when he graduated, received the ap- 
pointment of an oration. After taking his degree in September, 1824, he 
went to Cambridge, Mass., to take charge of a school. Among his pupils 
was Margaret Fuller, afterwards Countess d'Ossoli, whose remarkable life 
and sad death is known to every one. In the autumn of 1825, Mr. Perkins 
left his school and entered a law-office in New York, having chosen the 
law as his profession. In 1826, he entered the Theological Seminary at 
Andover, where he was graduted in 1829, was first ordained at Montreal, 
in 1829, and in May, 1841, was settled over the church at Meriden. In 
July, 1853, he sailed for Europe, and returned in November. In 1854 he 
was dismissed from the church at Meriden, and removed to Chicago, 
where he died November 13, 1856. His remains repose in the cemetery 
at West Meriden. Mr. Perkins through life was a hard working man ; he 
published a good deal in the form of pamphlets, reports, articles in peri- 
odicals, sermons, &c. While in Chicago, besides his ordinary duties as a 
clergyman over a large parish, he edited a newspaper, and established a 

iWJttB* 1 * 



seven persons were converted. In 1844 twenty were 
converted. In 1847 and 1848, a still more powerful 
work of grace was enjoyed, and about one hundred 
professed faith in Christ. In 1848 a division took 
place in the church, and a portion of the members, 
with their pastor, removed to West Meriden, the 
others remaining to worship where their fathers had 
worshiped before them. Those who removed to the 
"Corner," claimed to be the First Congregational 
church of Meriden, and also claimed and retained 
the church records. Those who remained, therefore, 
assumed the name of the Center Congregational 
church of Meriden. The First society erected a church 
building, at West Meriden, ninety feet in length and 
fifty-six in width, at a cost of $8000. In addition 
to the cost of the house, the land was purchased for 
$800. The parsonage cost about $3000. 

Mr. Perkins resigned in July, 1854, and the Rev. 
George Thatcher was installed, but not settled, Novem- 
ber, 1854. He remained until 1860. During his min- 
istry eighty persons were received to the communion. 

January 16, 1862, Rev. Hiram C. Hayden was 
ordained and installed pastor of the church. 1 He 

theological seminary. In 1841 while in Meriden he was offered the Presi- 
dency of Wabash College in Indiana. " His discourses were characterized 
by lucid statement, forcible argument, illustrations that were generally 
striking and always apt, appeals that were powerful and sometimes (when 
the occasion required) eloquent. In 1859, a volume of his sermons was 
published in New York. 

I At Mr. Hayden's ordination the sermon was delivered by Rev. J. P. 
Gulliver, Norwich; ordaining prayer by Rev. Hiram P. Arms, Norwich, 
Conn ; charge by Rev. Mr. Folsom, Fair Haven ; Right Hand of fellow- 
ship, by Rev. O. H. White, Meriden ; address to the people, by Rev. 
J. G. Miller, Branford. 


resigned in December, 1865, and was succeeded by the 
Rev. Wm. H. H. Murray, from Greenwich, Conn., who 
preached his first sermon, November 1 1 , 1 866, and 
resigned in November, 1868, to accept the charge of the 
Park street church in Boston. During the year ending 
November i, 1868, there was received into membership, 
one hundred and twenty-two. Of this number eighty- 
one were admitted on the profession of their faith, and 
forty-six by letter. 

The society of the Center Congregational church was 
formed on the 2Qth of September, 1846, by the follow- 
ing persons, who occupied the old church : John Butler,* 
Silas Royce, Lyman Collins,* Walter Booth,* Levi Yale, 
Nathaniel C. Sanford, Gardner Barlow,* Ralph H. Beck- 
ley, L. C. Hotchkiss, Russell Coe, Lyman Butler,* Isaac 
Butler, James Hall, Stephen Seymour,* Benajah 
Andrews, Samuel Clark, Hezekiah Root,* Ira Preston, 
Eli Way, Isaac I. Hubbard, Herman Hough, Henry S. 
Barnes, Joseph B. Jewett, Philip Eddy,* Sylvester S. 
Post, John W. Miles, Daniel W. Clark, George A. 
Sawyer, Ira Curtis,* Uri Foster, Charles Page, John 
Hubbard,* Ezekiel Hall, Julius Yale,* Henry Royce, 
Ezra S. Clark, Lewis G. Burgess, Luther H. Root, Elias 
Sanford, E. P. Parmelee, John W. Hall,* Henry P. Judd, 
Alvin E. Bervins,* Edmund Tuttle, Isaac I. Hough,* 
H. J. Tennant,* Lyman C. Seymour, A. C. Breckenridge, 
A. L. Beckley, P. Sage, N. B. Wood, Reuben H. Way * 
Henry E. Sanford,* J. L. Clark, Eli Butler, Luther 
Root, H. B. Sperry, William H. Yale, Don Alonzo 
Leeds, Benjamin H. Royce. 1 

I Those marked with a * are deceased. 


March 15, 1848, Rev. Asahel A. Stevens 1 was ordained 
and installed as pastor of the church, and remained until 
December n, 1854. On account of the failure of his 
voice, Mr. Stevens was allowed a vacation in the spring 
of 1854, and Rev. A. S. Cheesbrough 2 was hired to 
preach in the spring of 1854, and supplied the pulpit 
until November, 1855. The Rev. Lewis C. Lockwood 
was installed June 3, 1857, and dismissed February 22, 
1858. The Rev. O. H. White supplied the pulpit from 
June 29, 1858, until June, 1862. Rev. Joseph Woolley 
was installed October 22, 1862. 

Mr. Stevens in the first year of his ministry, received 
five hundred dollars salary. Three years later it was 
increased one hundred dollars. Mr. Lockwood's salary 
was eight hundred dollars a year. Mr. White's salary 
was first eight hundred dollars, but it was subsequently 
raised to one thousand. Mr. Woolley's salary was first 
one thousand dollars, then increased to twelve hundred, 
with an annual donation and house rent free. The fol- 
lowing persons sustained the office of deacon in tha 
First Church, previous to its division : 

SAMUEL ROYCE, elected Dec. 14, 1729, died May 14, 1757,32. 84. 
ROBERT ROYCE, " 060.29,1729, " 1759,33.94. 

BENJ. WHITING, " Nov. 1748. 

1 Mr. Stevens was born at Cheshire, Conn, December 25, 1815, and 
was graduated from the Yale Theological Seminary, in the summer of 
1847. He is now settled in Lacon, 111. 

2 Mr. Cheesbrough was born at Stonington, Conn. ; was graduated at 
Yale College in 1835. and at the Yale Theological Seminary, and was 
licensed to preach in 1839. In December, 1841 he was settled as pastor 
of the Congregational church at Chester, Conn., where he remained until 
1853. After leaving Meriden he was engaged in mercantile pursuits, and 
in traveling abroad, until July, 1858, when he was settled over the Congre- 
gational church in Glastenbury, Conn. 


BENJ. ROYCE, elected Nov., 1748, died Jan., 1758,26.53. 
EZEKIEL ROYCE, " Nov., 1748, " Sept., 1765,26.67. 
EBENEZER COWLES, " 060.26,1765, "July, 1800. 
BENJ. ROYCE, Jan. i, 1757, " Jan. 20, 1758. 

JOHN HOUGH, " Feb. 24,1788. 

JAMES HOUGH, " Sept. 14,1794. 

ISAAC HUBBARD, " July 5, 1796. 

NATHANIEL YALE, removed, June, 1806. 


SILAS ROYCE, " Oct. 16, 1853. 

WALTER BOOTH, elected Sept. i, 1814, Died 1870. 
BENJ. H. CATLIN, elected March, 1848. 

DAVID N. CAMP, " " " 

JOHN YALE, " " " Died 1870. 

Since the division of the church, the following per- 
sons have sustained the office of deacon in the Center 
Congregational church : 

WALTER BOOTH, died, April 30, 1870. 
SILAS ROYCE, " Oct. 15, 1853. 
PHINEAS HOUGH, removed. 
EDMUND TUTTLE, removed. 

The Hanover Congregational church was organized 
February, 1853, and consisted originally of twenty-five 
members who were dismissed from the church at Meri- 
den. Rev. James A. Clark preached for the society from 
December, 1853, until 1855. Rev. Jacob Eaton was set- 
tled May 28, 1857, and dismissed in 1861. A revival 
occurred in 1853, and eight were added to the church on 


profession. In 1857, another revival of great power 
occurred, which resulted in the conversion of twenty-five 
young persons, sixteen uniting with the church at one 
time on profession. 

The following ministers were raised up from the Con- 
gregational church in Meriden : Matthew Merriman, 
Avery Hall, Isaac Foster, Thomas Holt, Samuel J. Cur- 
tis Erastus, Curtis, Charles E. Murdock, Daniel C. Curtis, 
Ralph Tyler, Lyman C. Hough. 1 

I Rev. Jesse Ives, was a native of Meriden, and was graduated at 
Yale College, in 1758. He was a Congregational minister in Monson, 
Mass. He was settled June 23, 1773, and remained in office thirty-two 
years and a half, until December 31, 1805, when he died aged, seventy-one 




WHEN the commissioners of Charles the Second visited 
Connecticut in 1665, they carried back a report that the 
colony "will not hinder any from enjoying the Sacra- 
ments and using the Common Prayer Book, provided they 
hinder not the maintenance of the public minister." 
But it was not until 1708 that there was any legal pro- 
vision for such liberty. In that year the General 
Assembly of Connecticut passed what was called the 
" Act of Toleration," by which all persons who soberly 
dissented from the worship and ministry by law estab- 
lished, that is, the Congregational order, were permitted 
to enjoy the same liberty of conscience with the Dissen- 
ters in England under the act of William and Mary. 
But notwithstanding they were allowed to have public 
worship in their own way, they were still obliged to pay 
for the support of the Congregational churches in the 
place of their respective residences. 

A petition was sent to the " honorable the Governor, 
Assistants and Representatives in General Court Assem- 
bled, this 1 5th of May, 1727," and signed by the church 
wardens and vestry of the Church of England in 
Fairfield, praying to be excused from paying taxes to 


any dissenting minister, or to the building of any dis- 
senting meeting-house. 

"And whereas we were, ten of us, lately imprisoned for 
our taxes, and had considerable sums of money taken from 
us by distraint, contrary to his Honour the Governor's 
advice, and notwithstanding solemn promises before given 
to sit down and be concluded thereby in this affair, we 
pray that those sums of money taken from us may be 
restored to us again." 1 

Upon this petition, the General Assembly enacted 
that all persons who were of the Church of England, 
and those who were established by the law of the col- 
ony, living in the bounds of any allowed parish, should 
be taxed by the same rule and in the same proportion for 
the support of the ministry ; but where it happened that 
there was a society of the Church of England, having a 
clergyman so near any person who had decided himself 
to be of that Church that he could and did attend pub- 
lic worship there, then the collector was to deliver the 
tax collected of such persons to the minister of the 
Church of England to whom he lived near, who was also 
authorized to receive and recover the same ; and if such 
proportion of taxes was not sufficient in any society of 
the Church of England to support the incumbent, such 
society was authorized to levy and collect of those who 
professed and attended that Church, greater taxes at 
their discretion. The parishioners of the Church of 
England were also excused from paying any taxes for 
building meeting-houses for the established Church of 
the colony. 2 In 1722, the Rev. Samuel Whittelsey, with 

1 State Archives; Ecclesiastical Documents, vol. in. p. 188. 

2 See the Statute on page 340 of the Law Book of the Colony, edition 
of 1715. 


a number of the clergy, met from time to time in the 
library of Yale College, and examined a few theological 
books sent over in kindness from the mother country. 
They examined the doctrines and practices of the Prim- 
itive Church, and compared them with the model of 
their own discipline and worship ; and the farther they 
pushed their inquiries, the more uneasy they became. 
As light would break in upon the darkened chambers of 
their toil, they were compelled at last to welcome it ; and 
they finally sent into the Trustees a formal statement of 
their views, and declared for Episcopacy, or doubted the 
validity of Presbyterian ordination/ Overwhelming 
was the sorrow and wide the consternation as the 
tidings of it passed from town to town and village to vil- 
lage. " I suppose," says President Woolsey, 2 " that 

1 ["To the Rev. Mr. Andrew and Woodbridge and others, our Rever- 
end Fathers and Brethren present in the library of Yale College, this 
I3th day of September, 1722.] 

" Reverend Gentlemen : Having represented to you the difficulties 
which we labor under in relation to our continuance out of the visible com- 
munion of an Episcopal Church, and a state of seeming opposition there- 
to, either as private Christians, or as officers, and so being insisted on by 
some of you (after our repeated declinings of it) that we should sum up 
our case in writing, we do (though with great reluctance, fearing the con- 
sequence of it) submit to and comply with it, and signify to you that some 
of us doubt the validity, and the rest are more fully persuaded of the in- 
validity of the Presbyterian ordination, in opposition to the Episcopal ; and 
should be heartily thankful to God and man, if we may receive from them 
satisfaction herein, and shall be willing to embrace your good counsels and 
instructions in relation to this important affair, as far as God shall direct 
and dispose us to it. 




" A true copy of the original. ) 
"Testify DANIEL BROWN." j 

2 Hist. Disc, delivered at the isoth anniversary of Yale College. 


greater alarm would scarcely be awakened now, if the 
Theological Faculty of the College were to declare for 
the Church of Rome, avow their belief in Transubstan- 
tiation, and pray to the Virgin Mary." 

The General Assembly was to have a session in the 
ensuing October, and Saltonstall, the Governor of the 
colony, of whom Dr. Trumbull speaks as " a great man, 
well versed in the Episcopal controversy," was invited 
to preside over a debate held the day after the session 
commenced. The debate was a stormy one, and both 
sides claimed the victory. The defence of the Episco- 
pacy by one of the number, exciting some irritating 
remarks from the other side, the Governor abruptly put 
an end to the debate. The abrupt termination of the 
debate was soon to save to Congregationalism three of 
the signers of the declaration, Eliot, Hart and Whittel- 
sey, who only doubted the validity of Presbyterian 
ordination ; and they continued in their respective places, 
and for the rest of their days " were never known to act 
or say or insinuate anything to the disadvantage of the 
Church." 1 As we have said, this defection of Mr. 
Whittelsey created the greatest excitement in Walling- 
ford. The Rev. John Davenport, in a letter to Rev. 
Doctors Increase and Cotton Mather, dated at Stamford, 
Sept. 25, 1722, says: "two societies, branches of the 
famous New Haven, one on the north and the other on 
the south, are mourning because of their first ministers, 
in so little a time after their ordination, declaring them- 
selves Episcopal, and their ordination, lately received, of 
no value, because a non habentibus potestatem. 2 

1 Beardsley's Hist, of Epis. Church in Conn., I. 42. 

2 Hawk's Doc. Hist of Epis. Church in Conn., p. 68. 



The precise time that the Episcopal church in Wall- 
ingford was gathered, is unknown. 1 In 1729, the church 
wardens and thirteen members of the church in Wallmg- 
ford, sent the following letter to the Bishop of London : 

'May it please your Lordship : 

"We, the Churchwardens and parishioners of Wallingford 
and the adjacent parts in the Colony of Connecticut, in New 
England, beg leave to offer our humble duty to your 
Lordship. We are a Church but newly planted, and 
however content we are at present to have the service of 
the Church only once a quarter by a minister, on ever}' 
Lord's day besides we perform the service as far as is 
proper for laymen ; but in that part we are something 
deficient for want of sermon books, &c., which we cannot 
easily procure in this country. We are sensible the Rev. 
Theodore Morris cannot leave his other parishes oftener, 
yet we hope God, in his providence, will so order it, that 
we may at last be oftener attended ; there are many ready 
to join in our communion, and have nothing to object to 
it, but our having service so seldom by a minister. We 
greatly rejoice that we are assisted in learning to know 
which is the true Church of Christ, and the manner how 
we ought to worship. But with melancholy hearts we crave 
your Lordship's patience, while we recite that divers of us 
have been imprisoned, and our goods from year to year 
distrained from us for taxes, levied for the building and 
supporting meeting-houses ; and divers actions are now 
depending in our courts of law in the like cases. And 
when we have petitioned our governor for redress, notifying 
to him the repugnance of such actions to the laws of 
England, he hath proved a strong opponent to us ; but 

i In 1734, there were five Episcopal parishes in Connecticut, with 
Church edifices and settled ministers ; viz., Johnson at Stratford; Coner 
at Fairfield ; the elder Seabury at New Ixjndon ; Beach at Newton and 


when the other party hath applied to him for advice how 
to proceed against us, he hath lately given his sentence 
' to enlarge the gaol and fill it with them ' (that is the 
Church.) But we supplicate both God and man that our 
persecutors may not always prevail against us. And now 
that God may bless your Lordship, and the charitable 
endeavors of the honorable Society, and enable them to 
send more labourers to a harvest truly plentiful, is the 
sincere prayer of 

"Your Lordship's Most dutiful and obedient servants, 


r Churchwardens. 







Nothing further is known of this society until June 
20, 1741, when the Rev. Theophilus Morris, writing 
from Derby to the Secretary of the society for the pro- 
motion of Christian knowledge, says : 

"I have taken another Church into my care at Wallingford, 
which consists of twelve families, I engaged to attend them 
once a quarter, which they seem to be satisfied with, for they 
know it is as much as I can do for them. I procured Mr. 
Thomson, whom I mentioned before, to officiate every Sunday 
in some one parish in my absence, and as his prudence and 
discretion have rendered him entirely agreeable to the people, 
he proves very serviceable to me." 

Three months before this, the members of the Church 
of England at Wallingford and North Haven united and 


formed a parish by the name of " Union Church," and 
erected a Church building near 
Pond Hill. They sent an appeal 
to the Bishops of London for 
assistance, in which they stated : 

" With melancholy hearts we 
UNION CHURCH, POND HILL. crave your Lordship's patience, 
while we recite that divers of us have been imprisoned 
and our goods from year to year distrained from us for 
taxes, levied for building and supporting " Meeting houses," 
and divers actions are now pending in our courts of law, in 
like cases, and when we have appealed to our Governor, for 
redress, he has proved a strong opponent to us, and has 
lately ordered our opponents to enlarge the Gaol, and to fill it 
up with the Episcopalians." 

In 1743, the Churchwardens of Wallingford sent the 
following letter to the Secretary : 

"Wallingford, in New England, December ist, 1743. 
" REVEREND SIR : We, the inhabitants of Wallingford, mem- 
bers of the Church of England, make bold on behalf of our- 
selves and at the request of our bretheren inhabiting in the 
neighbouring towns of Guilford and Branforcl, to inform you 
that we are twenty-five masters of families that are members 
of said Church, and meet together every Lord's day and edify 
ourselves, as well as we can, by reading ; and while the Rev- 
erend Mr. Morris was in these parts, we were edified to our 
great comfort ; our number then increased, and many more 
were coming in to join us, but he being removed from us, and 
Mr. J. Lyon cannot attend us, we are now destitute, and our 
dissenting bretheren from year to year are distressing us with 
executions for meeting-houses, rates, steeples and bells for 
them ; so that our present melancholy circumstances crave 
your good offices with the honorable Society. We are willing 
to do the best we can toward the support of a minister, and 
make no doubt but in two or three years' time we shall be 


able to raise 20 sterling per annum toward the support of a 
minister. We humbly pray we may be assisted with a minis- 
ter, and, might we choose for ourselves, we having experienced 
the Rev. Mr. Morris, would heartily wish he might be the 
person ; and could a method be found for quelling the per- 
petual demands of our dissenting bretheren for meeting- 
houses, rates, &c., it would greatly add to the growth and 
consolation of our distressed Churches, and we, as in duty 
bound, shall ever pray. 

" HENRY BATES, ) Churchwardens, 
JOHN WARD, ) and several others." 

Dr. Samuel Johnson, under date of March 28, 1749, 
referring to the growth of Episcopacy, mentions that 
in Middletown and Wallingford, the Church had in- 
creased, and that Mr. Camp 1 had continued to read 
to them with good success, and thought he would be 
a worthy and useful person. In 1753, he was appointed 
to Middletown, Wallingford, and the parish of New 
Cheshire. In 1750, the Rev. Ebenezer Punderson, 2 

1 Rev. Ichabod Camp, son of John Camp, was born at Middletown, 
and graduated at Yale College in 1743 ; read services and sermons in 
Wallingford in 1748; after his ordination, he divided his labors between 
Middletown and Wallingford, from 1753 to 1760, when he removed to 
Louisburg, Virginia. Some years afterwards he was murdered by his son- 
in-law. He was a man of excellent character and principles. His wife, 
Mrs. Content Camp, died while he officiated at Middletown, and on a tab- 
let in the church her name was placed. 

2 Rev. Samuel Seabury to the Secretary of the Venerable Society for 
Propagating the Gospel : 

New London, March 3Oth, 1734. 

Reverend Sir : These wait upon the honorable Society by the hands 
of Mr. Ebenezer Punderson, who comes to make his application to my 
Lord Bishop of London and the Society for Propagating the Gospel in 
Foreign Parts, for orders and a mission. He hath been educated in Yale 
college, Connecticut, where I had a particular acquaintance with him, and 
where he always had the character of a sober person. About five years 
ago he was called to preach in the Presbyterian or Independent way, at 


who was the successor of Samuel Seabury in the 
Congregational ministry at Groton, but who declared 
for Episcopacy and was ordained as a priest in Eng- 
land in 1734, preached for a time in Wallingford and 
adjoining towns, and whatever ministerial taxes they 
had been assessed to pay, he ordered to be entirely 
applied toward building their churches and main- 
taining readers among them, without appropriating 
any part thereof to himself. In a letter dated October 
1 8, 1750, he says, "the next day rode to Wallingford, 
preached to a pretty congregation, baptized three 
children." 1 At a town meeting, held at Wallingford, 

Groton, near New London, where he soon received ordination ; but falling 
under doubts and scruples concerning their power of ordination and method 
of church government, and, at the same time, acquainting himself with the 
church of England, he found himself obliged, upon true and regular convic- 
tion, to embrace her communion, and thereupon he laid down his ministry 
in which he was settled to good advantage ; but a considerable number of 
the people at that place being also convinced of the reasonableness and 
necessity of church communion, and having strong affection for the person 
of Mr. Punderson, on account of his abilities and pious, exemplary life, 
have been very solicitous with him to make his application to the honorable 
Society for Propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts for a mission to that 
place. In testimony of which they have signed a desire or petition to the 
h onorable society, with the premise of contributing a certain sum consid- 
erably to his support and maintenance, and it is most probable that many 
more will conform to the church of England upon better knowledge of it 
and acquaintance with it. 

i " Mr. Punderson was ordained at Groton, December 29, 1729. Mr. 
Adams of New London preached the sermon. On the first day of Janua- 
ry 1733 4, Mr. Punderson made a communication to the society, avowing 
himself ' a conformist to the Episcopal Church of England,' and express- 
ing doubts of the validity of his ordination. This notice was received in 
the first place with amazement and sorrow, and a committee was appointed 
to reason with him and endeavor to convince him that his ordination was 
canonical and his position safe and desirable. Of course this measure was 
unavailing. A council was convened at the house of Capt. Morgan Feb. 
5th, and the connection dissolved." Miss Caul kins' 1 History of New Lon- 
don, p. 420. 


December 20, 1757, the following memorial was pre- 
sented : 

"THE MEMORIAL of us the subscribers on behalf of our- 
selves, and others our Breatheren who have Declared our 
Conformity to the Doctrine Discipline and Worship of the 
Church of England, who did for Some years Past assemble 
Together for Divine Worship near Pond Hill, and have more 
Lately, for our Convenience Met at the Lower End of the 
first Society in said Wallingford and How having Entered 
into a Covenant Engagement by Subscription to build a 
Church in said First Society do Now Signify our Desire 
Petition and Request to the Inhabitants of said Town 
That they would Grant us To Build a Church on the West 
side of Mix's lane (so Called) Viz. the West side the 
Countray Road in the East End of Said Lane, so as not 
to Obstruct or Hinder the Passing of his Majesty's Subjects 
and we hope and Desire to Cultivate Cherish and Maintain 
Christian Charity Love and Freindship with our Freinds 
and neighbors, Members of this Community of all denomin- 
ations of Christians. And shall Esteem such a favour a 
mark of your Good Will Love and affection and your 
Memorialist Shall Ever Pray. 
" Wallingford Dec r 20, 1757. 




This church was built in 1758, on the north-west 
corner, above the present church. In this church was 
placed an organ by David Cook, who brought it from 
England. The church formed a union with the Wells 
society, after which they placed the organ in the Wells 
house, where it underwent some repairs, and was used 
until the erection of the new church edifice, when the 
old organ was sold to the society at North Haven. 
Here it was used until 1869, when it was sold to Wm. 
P. Gardner, Esq., of New Haven. 

Dr. Johnson, under date of 1762, speaking of one of 
his missionary tours, says that Mr. Andrews was ap- 
pointed missionary to Wallingford, Cheshire and North 
Haven. 1 Mr. Andrews remained in charge of the socie- 

i Samuel Andrews was born at Meriden, June 4, 1737, and was the 
youngest of eight sons. He was graduated at Yale College in 1759, and 
in 1761, he went to England to receive Holy Orders. In 1767 he under- 
took a long journey into " different towns and governments to the north- 
ward," preaching and lecturing, and administering the sacrament as he 
passed from village to village. He penetrated to Allington, in New 
Hampshire, one hundred and fifty miles from his home ; and though he 
was the first clergyman who had appeared among the settlers, he found that 
a layman from Connecticut had been there before him with the services of 
the church of England. When on the fourth of July, 1776, the Thirteen 
Colonies, through the Congress at Philadelphia, declared themselves inde- 
pendent of Great Britain, all connection with the mother country was 
solemnly dissolved, and the American people were released from any 
allegiance to the sovereignty of the King. The Declaration involved the 
Episcopal clergy in new trouble. As faithful Missionaries of the Venera- 
ble Society, from which came their chief support, they honestly believed 
themselves bound by their oaths of allegiance taken at the time of their 
ordination, to pray for the Sovereign whose dominion the colonies had 
thrown off ; and guided by the forms of the Liturgy, they could omit no 
part in conducting public worship without doing violence to their own 
consciences. Mr. Andrews was placed for a time under heavy bonds, and 
was not allowed to visit even a parishioner without special leave from the 
Selectmen of the town. In 1781, he removed to New Brunswick, and be- 
came the first Rector of St. Andrew's Church in the parish of St. 
Andrews. Here he lived in affluence, and died at an advanced age. 


ties of Wallingford, North Haven and Cheshire for 
several years. It is but justice to his memory to say 
that he executed well the office to which he had been 
called. To a consistent and unaffected piety, were added 
talents of a popular kind, and attainments more than 
respectable. He published some of his occasional dis- 
courses ; and among the number was a Farewell Sermon 
to his people in Connecticut, and a Discourse on the 
Death of his friend and brother in Christ, the Rev. 
James Scovill, who was a minister of the church in 
Waterbury, and accompanied Mr. Andrews to the Brit- 
ish provinces, and settled in New Brunswick. Like 
most of the clergy of that period, Mr. Andrews was re- 
markable for his cheerfulness and amiability. In his 
intercourse with his people, he had none of the gloom 
of the ascetic, nor any of the forbidden levity of the 
man of the world. He remembered that he was charged 
with the holiness of his flock ; and while he " taught 
them as one having authority," he did not forget himself 
to practice in private the lessons which he gave in pub- 
lic. Mr. Andrews was the last missionary to this 
church in the employ of the " Society for the Propaga- 
tion of the Gospel in Foreign parts." He received 
annually from that source thirty pounds sterling ; and 
this, in addition to what was contributed by his parishes, 
enabled him to live in a style of more comfortable inde- 
pendence than many of our clergy at the present day. 

In 1770, there were sixty-three families attending the 
Episcopal Church. There were eighty-six communi- 
cants, and one hundred and sixty-five baptisms by Mr. 
Andrews. In Cheshire in 1770, there were forty-seven 
families, sixty-four communicants and eighty-six bap- 
tisms ; and in Meriden, six families, fourteen communi- 


cants and twenty baptisms. In Wallingford in 1770, 
there had died in twelve years, fifty-six members of the 
Episcopal Church. When Mr. Andrews first came to 
Wallingford the people had just recovered from the 
" thunderings and lightnings, and earthquakes ecclesias- 
tical," which had so long divided that community. The 
Episcopal clergy had taken no part in the theological 
disputes which the Independents carried on among 
themselves. They quietly watched the progress of 
events, and seemed to feel, as the Rev. Mr. Chandler 
expressed himself in writing to Dr. Johnson on a later 
occasion, "if these dissenters will but confute one an- 
other, it will save us the trouble." They were accused 
to the Society, and to their friends in England, with 
attempting to make proselytes ; and this accusation was 
urged in order to depreciate their services, and prevent 
them from securing the boon they had so long im- 
plored an American Episcopate. But Johnson denied 
this, and vindicated his brethren when he wrote to 
Archbishop Seeker from New York ; and after referring 
to his experience of thirty-one years in Connecticut, said, 

" I never once tried to proselyte dissenters, nor do I believe 
any of the other ministers did ; we never concerned ourselves 
with them till they came to us ; and when they did we could 
do no other than give them the best instructions and 
assistance we could in making a right judgment for them- 
selves. And so far were we from promoting or taking 
advantage of any quarrels that happened among themselves, 
that in many instances we obliged them to accomodate 
matters with their former brethren, or at least do all they 
could towards an accomodation, before we would receive them 
to our communion." 

The pamphlets published by both parties of the 


Independents, stirred up such an acrimonious spirit, and 
threw so unsatisfactory a light upon the real questions 
involved, that many among the people escaped from the 
controversies to find peace and enjoyment in the com- 
munion of the Episcopal church. 1 2 

Edward Winslow, the missionary at Stratford, was 
frequently called to officiate to the people at Wallingford. 
On the 29th of December, 1 760, he addressed the follow- 

1 Beardsley's Hist, of the Epis. Church in Conn., i. 195. 

2 Dr. Johnson in writing to the Archbishop of Canterbury under date of 
July 13, 1760, says, " The Church is generally in an increasing and flour- 
ishing condition, and much the more so, on account of the violent conten- 
tions of the Dissenters among themselves, which in effect drive people 
into the Church. The Wallingford affair was again before the Assembly 
last May, and the lower house were still more zealous in the cause of the 
minor party, which seems the prevailing disposition of the country, so 
that there probably will be a great struggle to get out the governor and 
several of the upper house for not favouring them ; and I here send your 
Grace two pamphlets relating to these controversies, that have been pub- 
lished since my last. The parties are both upon bad extremes. Hart and 
Yale, &c., are followers of Taylor, Foster, &c. ; and, I doubt Socinianism 
is at the bottom, and the President, Hobart, &c., are most rigid Calvinists, 
and intend at any rate to oppose the others to their utmost. Meantime 
the Church is every where in peace, and the Clergy orthodox. It is a 
great detriment to the Churches at Middletown and Wallingford that Mr. 
Camp hath left them, induced partly by his necessities, and partly by the 
persuasion of Governor Dobbs, to move to North Carolina. How they 
are to be supplied I am at a loss to know ; they ought each to have a min- 
ister, and I wish the Society were in a condition to settle at least forty 
pounds on the former and thirty pounds upon the latter, who hope for one 
Mr. Andrews, a candidate of good character, and one Treadwell, said to 
be a worthy youth, who has lately appeared for the Church, both bred at 
New Haven College, where I found three hopeful young men preparing 
for orders. Mr. Punderson seems a very honest and laborious man ; yet 
the Church at New Haven appears uneasy, and rather declining under his 
ministry, occasioned, I believe, partly by his want of politeness, and partly 
by his being absent so much, having five or six places under his care. I 
wish he were again at Groton and some politer person in his place, and 
another at Guilford and Branford." 


ing letter to the Secretary of the Society for Propagating 
the Gospel in Foreign Parts : 

"Stratford, December 29th, 1760. 

" During the past six months have been baptized here and 
at Wallingford nineteen white infants and two negro children, 
and several persons added to the communion of this Church. 
The present number of communicants is near one hundred 
and fifty, and I have still the satisfaction to be able to 
acquaint you that our people continue steadfast in their 
attachment to the Church, and, in general, careful to evidence 
the purity of their profession, and their sincerity in it, by 
endeavoring to make its substantial fruits and ornaments 
appear in their own personal improvement, in maintaining a 
union among themselves, and in giving no occasion of offense 
to others. By this means, through the divine blessing, the 
Church in this town preserves its ground, notwithstanding a 
restless spirit of opposition is but too evident in some of our 
dissenting brethren of influence and authority among us. 
This has an unhappy tendency to keep up the prejudices of 
many who are otherwise not ill affected to the doctrines and 
worship of our Church, and are much disposed to live in 
friendship. Much artifice is used by the leading persons 
among the Dissenters in this colony to prevent their people 
from attending our service, and to possess them with the 
absurd notion of their worship and discipline being an estab- 
lishment here, from which ours is a separation ; but their own 
late divisions and distractions among themselves, with regard 
to doctrine and discipline, have already unsettled so many 
and must necessarily have the like effect with others, that, I 
doubt not at all, there will be seen numbers gladly embracing 
the refuge from these confusions, and those wholesome means 
for all needful instruction and improvement in Christian 
knowledge and practice, which our happy constitution will 
afford them. This is manifestly the present care at Walling- 
ford and in its immediate neighborhood, where the church 


congregation has so far increased that the people think them- 
selves in a condition to make some suitable provision for 
sending home for holy orders, and for supporting a deserving 
young man, who has been some time employed as a reader 
among them. They dare not presume upon the society's 
assistance, further than to crave the liberty to apply for part 
of the salary granted to Middletown and Wallingford, should 
they in their goodness see fit to allow it. The people who 
belong to the congregation at Wallingford, and live at some 
distance, have lately built themselves a small church for their 
greater convenience in the winter season, when their families 
can not well attend at the other. I continue to officiate at 
Wallingford about once in six weeks, which, by the reason of 
the distance of near thirty miles, and the needful care of my 
particular charge, is as frequent attendance as I am able 
to give. 

" I am, Reverend Sir, the Society's, 

" And your most obedient servant, 


During the Revolution the interests of all denomina- 
tions suffered greatly, but the Church of England had 
the hardest lot of all ; for she, especially as represented 

I Rev. Edward Winslow was born at Boston, and was graduated at 
Harvard College in the class of 1741. He succeeded Dr. Johnson as mis- 
sionary at Stratford. He preached a number of times at Wallingford, but 
on peculiar circumstances of his family, he requested a removal, and the 
Mission of Braintree, in the neighborhood of his friends in Boston, being 
offered him he thought proper to accept it. He died in 1780. It was said 
of him that besides "excelling all in the colony as a preacher ; he was be- 
hind none of them in discretion and good conduct ; and being rector of 
the first Church, and otherwise duly, if not the best qualified, I wish, when 
Commissaries are appointed, he may be a Commissary, being also of the 
most creditable family and education ; and as he has a large, young, grow- 
ing family, and is obliged in that situation to live at the most expense of 
any of them, it would he highly expedient, if practicable, to add ten pounds 
more to his support." Dr. Johnson to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
July 13, 1760. 


by her clergy, was considered as the very impersonation 
of rebellion ; many of the clergy were forced to leave 
the country. The very small number who were enabled 
to continue their ministrations, succeeded in doing so, 
either by their remarkable prudence, or by engaging in 
conflicts or submitting to deprivations, which must have 
rendered life itself little less than a burden. The close 
of the war found the Episcopal Church in a state of the 
deepest depression. Her altars prostrate or deserted, 
her ministers gone or disheartened, herself the object of 
political odium and suspicion, without the inherent 
power of perpetuating her own polity, her cause, in the 
view of men, seemed well nigh desperate. So mourned 
her friends ; so vaunted her enemies. 

Shortly after the return of peace, the Episcopal clergy 
of Connecticut resolved to send one of their number to 
England, with a view to his obtaining Consecration as 
Bishop. On the twenty-first of April, 1783, Dr. Samuel 
Seabury was chosen, and shortly after sailed for Eng- 
land. It was necessary that the candidate for Episcopal 
consecration should take oath of allegiance to the king, 
and of obedience to the Archbishop of Canterbury. But 
it was feared that there would be a renewal of that oppo- 
sition which had kept Dr. Seabury from his native State 
during the whole period of the Revolutionary war. 
They feared that the State of Connecticut would not 
give her consent to the exercise of his functions, and 
that he would not be obeyed. The obstacles thrown in 
his way were enough to dampen the zeal of any but a 
stout, earnest and believing heart. He wrote to the 
clergy of Connecticut who were now on tiptoe with 
expectation, stating the fear entertained in England, that 
the General Assembly of the State would prevent a 


Bishop, should he be consecrated, from entering on the 
discharge of his Episcopal labors. A convention of the 
clergy was forthwith called at Wallingford, February 27, 
1787, to determine what was to be done. As the 
Assembly was then in session at New Haven, a com- 
mittee was appointed to confer with the principal men 
of the Legislature, and solicit the passage of an act 
authorizing a Bishop to reside in Connecticut, and to 
exercise the Episcopal functions there. The gentlemen 
to whom this request was made, replied, as they well 
might, that it was not necessary to pass such an act, as 
the. law of Connecticut was already in conformity with 
their wishes. 1 Certified copies of the statutes of the 
colony in relation to this matter were made out and 
forwarded to England without delay. Although the 
evidence was conclusive, other objections were started. 
Wearied at length with the opposition and delay which 
he encountered in England, and despairing of success in 
that quarter he at last bethought himself of the Episco- 
pal Church of Scotland. To this Church, as free from 
the state, and unencumbered by political restraints, he 
determined to resort. Here his application met with a 
cordial response, and the favor he asked was readily 

In 1786, Sept. 21, Bishop Seabury admitted as Deacon 
at Derby, Reuben Ives, 2 who that year had graduated at 

1 See page 21 of "The General Laws and Liberties of Connecticut 
Colony," edition of 1672 ; also statute of 1727, ante. 

2 Reuben Ives was the son of Zachariah Ives of Cheshire, and was born 
in that town, October 26, 1672. He was graduated at Yale College in 
1786, at which time the institution was under the Presidency of the cele- 
brated Dr. Stiles. His attachment to the Episcopal Church was always 
strong, and he had early resolved to devote his energies and talents to the 
promotion of her interests. The state of the country was such, and the 


Yale College. For some time he was the assistant of the 
Bishop of New London. The organization of the 
parishes in Meriden, Southington, and Hamden, was 


due to the ministrations of Mr. Ives, who in the be- 
gining of 1788 had accepted the Rectorship of the 
Church in Cheshire, his native place, for two-thirds 
of the time, with the privilege of occupying the remain- 
ing third in missionary duties in the neighboring towns. 1 

want of ministerial services so great, at the time of his leaving college, that 
Bishop Seabury, who had two years before visited Scotland and returned 
clothed with the highest Episcopal authority, deemed it necessary to dis- 
pense with much theological education ; and accordingly admitted Mr. Ives, 
together with his friend and classmate, Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Bronson, to 
the order of Deacons in St. James' Church, Derby, September 21, 1786. 
For some time after his ordination, Mr. Ives was with the Bishop at New 
London, in the capacity both of pupil and assistant minister. He married 
a daughter of the Rev. John R. Marshall of Woodbury, a missionary of 
the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Mr. Ives 
was a great lover of church music, and was one of the first to introduce 
chanting in Connecticut. He died October 17, 1836. His daughter mar- 
ried Dr. A. I. Driggs of Cheshire. 

I The Cheshire Academy, founded in 1794, and the first institution of 
the kind strictly belonging to the Church in New England, and one of the 
first in the country, owed its existence to the efforts of Mr. Ives. 


He remained in Cheshire over thirty years, after sup- 
plying the Church at Wallingford and Meriden parish. 
Rev. Tillotson Bronson 1 occupied the pulpit at Wall- 
ingford on several occasions, as also did Rev. Messrs. 
Solomon and Abraham Blakesley. The Rev. Charles 
Seabury, 2 the youngest child of Bishop Seabury, 
preached at Wallingford a number of times. Near 
the close of 1794, Rev. Seth Hart, 3 who had preached 
for the Episcopal Society of Waterbury, removed to 
Wallingford, and remained nearly four years. 

In 1 80 1, Rev. Ammi Rogers 4 assumed the charge of 
the parishes of Branford, Wallingford and East Haven. 
Rev. Messrs. Joseph Perry and Plumb, supplied the 

1 Dr. Bronson was born at Plymouth, Conn., in 1762 ; was graduated at 
Yale College in 1786; was ordained Deacon by Bishop Seabury, Sept. 21, 
1787, and Priest Feb. 25, 1788. In 1795, he was called to the Rectorship 
of St. John's church, Waterbury, and in 1805, was elected Principal of the 
Episcopal Academy at Cheshire. He died Sept. 6, 1826. 

2 Charles Seabury was born at Westchester, N. Y., May 29, 1770 ; he 
removed with his father to New London, under whose supervision he 
studied theology, and was admitted to the holy order of Deacon June 5, 
1 793, and was ordained Priest July 1 7, 1 796 ; was settled at New London, 
and Setauket, L. I. He died Dec. 29, 1844. 

3 Seth Hart was born at Berlin, Conn., June 21, 1763 ; was graduated at 
Yale College in 1784 ; was ordained Deacon Oct. 9, 1791, and Priest Oct. 
14, 1792. He preached first at Waterbury, and from 1794 to 1798 was 
Rector of the churches in Wallingford and North Haven. Some difficulty 
having arisen in the parish at North Haven, he resigned it and was called 
to St. George's church, Hempstead, L. I., where he remained until his death, 
March 16, 1832. He was a good classical scholar, an amiable man, a suc- 
cessful teacher, and an acceptable preacher. He died of paralysis, as also 
did his son, Rev. William H. Hart. On Mr. Hart's removal from Water- 
bury, several individuals liberally inclined, united and bought his house 
and five acres of land, and conveyed the whole to the church forever. 

4 Ammi Rogers was born at Branford ; was graduated at Yale college, 
in 1790; ordained Deacon by Bishop Provoost of New York in June, 1792, 
and Priest at a later date. 



pulpit at Wallingford at various times, as also did Rev. 
Virgil H. Barber. 1 In 1822, Rev. James Keeler 2 became 
the Rector of St. Paul's Church at Wallingford. 

He was followed by the Rev. Mr. Bottsford, who re- 
mained but a short time. In 1824, Rev. Ashbel Bald- 
win 3 removed to Wallingford, where he officiated several 
years. He afterwards preached at Meriden, North 
Haven, and Oxford, until 1832, when he became disabled 
by age for any active duty. His voice was very clear 
and loud, and it seemed the louder, coming as it did from 
one who was considerably under size. He walked 
haltingly, in consequence of one leg being shorter than 
the other. He abounded in anecdotes, and he evidently 
had a great relish for them in the conversation of other 

1 Virgil Horace Barber was ordained by Bishop Jarvis in 1805, and was 
called to St. John's church, Waterbury, where he remained till 1814, when 
he was elected Principal of the Academy, and Rector of the church at 
Fairfield, N. Y. About 1817, he declared himself a Romanist. It was 
doubtless through his influence that his father, the Rev. Daniel Barber, 
about a year after made a similar avowal. 

2 James Keeler was born at Norwich, April 20, 1 787 ; studied under 
Rev. Dr. Bethel Judd ; ordained Deacon by Bishop Hobart in 1818. In 
1822, removed to Wallingford as Rector of St. Paul's church ; was ordained 
Priest by Bishop Brownell, November 4, 1823. In 1828, became Rector of 
St. Andrew's church in Meriden. He died at Janesville, Iowa, June 26, 1833. 

3 Ashbel Baldwin, son of Isaac Baldwin Esq., was born at Litchfield, 
March 7, 1757, and was graduated at Yale College in 1776. Soon after 
leaving college he received an appointment in the Continental army which 
he held for some time, and which proved of great importance to him in his 
latter years in securing to him a pension, when he had little, if any, other 
means of subsistence. He was married to Clarissa, eldest daughter of Mr. 
Samuel Johnson of Guilford, and grand-niece of the Rev. Dr. Johnson of 
Stratford. He was ordained Deacon, August 3, and Priest, Sept. 18, 1785, 
by Bishop Seabury, and was immediately called to the Rectorship of St. 
Michael's church in his native place. 101793, he became the Rector of 
Christ church, Stratford, and remained there until 1824. He died at Roch- 
ester, N. Y., in 1846, in the eighty-ninth year of his age. 


people. His kind and affable manners and social habits 
rendered him a welcome guest at the tables of the more 
wealthy parishioners, and he had the power of accommo- 
dating himself with equal facility to those in the oppo- 
site extremes of society. Mr. Baldwin was long a 
member of the standing committee of the Diocese, was 
delegate to the General Convention, Secretary of the 
Diocesan Convention for many years, and several times 
Secretary of the General Convention. His uncommon 
self possession and promptness in giving expression to 
his opinions, gave him great advantage in a deliberative 
assembly, over many of his brethren who were not infe- 
rior to him in good judgment or in general ability. After 
Mr. Baldwin left, the pulpit was supplied for a time by 
the Rev. Mr. Lucas. 

Since 1832, the following clergymen have assumed the 
Rectorship of St. Paul's in Wallingford : 

WILLIAM CURTIS, 1832-1836. JOSEPH BREWSTER, 1850-1853. 

LEMUEL HULL, 1836-1839. CHAS. S. PUTNAM, 1853-1858. 

R. M. CHAPMAN, 1839-1840. JOHN TOWNSEND, 1858-1864. 

HILLARD BRYANT, 1841-1850. EDW'D M. GUSHEE, 1864-1870. 

Four edifices have been erected for the Episcopal 
society in Wallingford. A rude structure, about the 
year 1741, in a northern district of the township; a 
second on the lot now held for a public school, in the 
north part of the borough ; the third on nearly the pres- 
ent site. This was destroyed by fire, Oct. 27, 1867. It 
was valued at $15,000, and insured for $4,700. The 
corner stone of the fourth church was laid by Bishop 
Williams, May 26, 1868, and consecrated Sept. 2, 1869. 
The new church is built of Portland sandstone, and is 
finished with black walnut and southern pine. The en- 
tire length is 124 feet ; the width 58 feet ; the height 62 


feet. The church will seat 700 persons. Its cost was 
about $65,000. 

The Episcopal Church in Meriden was originated 
about the year 1789. The following is the agreement by 
which the parish of St. Andrews was formed : x 

" Meriden, April i3th, 1789. 

"We whose names are underwritten do declare our con- 
formity to the Church of England and are desirous of 
enjoying the worship and Sacraments of said Church, do 
consent and agree to support the same : 








For several years their assemblies for public worship 
convened at a private house in the western part of the 
town. December 28, 1789, it was voted " to keep up 
meeting this year," and to hire Mr. Ives to preach. In 
1792, Isaac Atwater, Seth Wolf, and Simeon Perkins, 
were appointed a committee for the purpose of erecting 
a church, but nothing further was done in the matter 
until 1795, when it was voted to erect a church at the 

1 The original document was deposited in the corner stone of the 
church erected in 1836. 

2 On the back of this document was endorsed the following : " Decem- 
ber, 13, A. D. 1793. Public money from Mr. Merriam, o 15 3. Deliv- 
ered to Mr. Perkins, out of which o 3 1 1 was due to him. August 22, 
A. D. 1794. Sent to Mr. Ives by Mr. Butler, cash ,0 15 o. Moses 
Andrews. January 28, A. D. 1790. Sent to Mr. Ives by Mr. Butler, 
cash ^3 o o. April 9, sent to Mr. Ives by the hand of Mr. Douglass, 
cash 120. May 30, Paid to Mr. Ives at his house, cash ^128. Feb- 
ruary 1 8, A. D. 1796, paid to Mr. Ives, cash o 12 o. 


south-east corner of the green, provided the land can be 
obtained. The year previous it was voted to hire preach- 
ing six Sundays for the year ensuing. In 1803, Mr. 
Virgil Horace Barber was hired for six Sabbaths, and 
Nicholas Andrews was chosen to be a committee to 
agree with the Wallingford committee for his services. 
In 1806, it was voted to build a Church on the ground 
belonging to Joseph Merriam, and shortly after it was 
voted to build the Church within sixty rods of the 
meeting-house ; r also that the house for the use of pub- 
lic worship be under the direction of the Episcopal 
society, but that the doors be opened to Baptists and 
Presbyterians when not occupied by the Episcopal so- 
ciety. A committee was appointed to petition the 
Assembly for a Lottery, to raise money for furnishing 
the Church, but the petition was not granted. April 22, 
1811, it was voted "to hire Parson Ives to perform 
divine service and preach for us one sixth part of the 
year ensuing." Mr. Ives resided at Cheshire, but sup- 
plied the Church at Meriden until 1824. In 1821, the 
Meriden parish voted not to unite with the Wallingford 
parish that year. 2 

In 1816, October 1 8, during the pastorate of Mr. Ives, 
the first house of worship was consecrated 3 as St. An- 
drew's Church, by the Rt. Rev. John Henry Hobart, 

1 The Congregational. 

2 The following is the receipt of Mr. Ives, for his salary, for his last 
year's service at Meriden : " Received of the Parish of St. Andrews church 
in Meriden, for services from Easter 1823, to Easter 1824, one hundred and 
one dollars and fourteen cents, being in full for said year. 

"Meriden 18 May, 1824. REV. REUBEN IVES." 

3 This building was forty-five feet long and thirty-six feet wide. The 
building has been converted into a dwelling house, and removed to Liberty 
near Broad street, where it now stands. 



D. D., Bishop of New York, 1 who at the same time con- 
firmed thirty-eight persons. In 1825, Rev. Ashbel 
Baldwin became Rector of the Church, on a salary of 


three hundred and three dollars. Since 1826, the fol- 
lowing clergymen have had charge of the parish : 



1832, ROBERT A. HALLAM ; 2 


1837, JOHN M. GUION ;3 


1 While the Diocese of Connecticut was for several years without a 
Bishop after the death of Dr. Jarvis in 1813, Bishop Hobart consented, in 
1816, to extend his Episcopal jurisdiction to that See; and he held this 
provisional charge until 1819, when he was relieved by the consecration of 
Dr. Brownell. 

2 Dr. Hallam was called to the Rectorship of St. James' church, New 
London, in 1834, and assumed the charge January i, 1835. He is the 
eighth rector of that church. 

3 Mr. Guion was graduated at Columbia college in 1826, and at the 
General Theological Seminary in 1829. Ordained Deacon by Bishop Ho- 
bart in 1829, and Priest the year following. 


August 21, 1839, it was voted "that Edwin E. Curtis 
be authorized to supply the pulpit after the ist of 
October, at which time the Rev. Mr. Hoyt's resignation 
takes effect." 1 





June 8, 1848, the corner-stone was laid of the second 
house of worship. The church was consecrated Feb- 
ruary 6, 1850, by Bishop Brownell. This church was a 
pretty Gothic edifice, of brown stone. Its cost was 
about $12,000. It was eighty feet long and forty-five 


The increase of the population in the western and 
northern part of the town, and the necessity of providing 
additional accommodations for the parish, rendered it 
necessary to erect another and larger edifice near the 

1 Mr. Curtis was to see that the pulpit was supplied with some clergy- 

2 Dr. Littlejohn was born in Montgomery county, N. Y., Dec. 13, 1824; 
was graduated at Union College in 1845, an( ^ was ordained Deacon, March 
1 8, 1848, and Priest in November, 1850, soon after entering upon the rec- 
torship of Christ church, Springfield, Mass. He remained in Meriden ten 
months. He was afterwards Rector of churches in New Haven, and Brook- 
lyn, N. Y. In 1856, he received the degree of D. D., from the University 
of Pennsylvania, and 'soon after was elected to the Presidency of Hobart col- 
lege, Geneva, N. Y. For ten years he was lecturer on Pastoral Theology at 
the Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown. Nov. n, 1868, he was elected 
Bishop of Central New York, at the Episcopal Convention at Utica. He 
declined the appointment, and on the iQth of November was elected Bishop 
of Long Island, which he accepted. 


Town Hall. The corner-stone was laid August 8, 1866, 
by the Rt. Rev. John Williams, D. D., Bishop of the 
Diocese. The second church was taken down, and the 
stone was used in building this third church. It was 
consecrated November 7, 1867.' 

The ministers of the Church of England in Connecti- 
cut in 1740, numbered seven ; in 1755, eleven. Episco- 
pal parishes in 1750, twenty-five ; houses of worship in 
1750, twenty-four ; Episcopal parishes in 1800, sixty-two. 
Increase in the half century, thirty-seven. The increase 
was largest soon after Whitefield's first visit to New 
England, and just before the war of the Revolution. 
Mr. Goodrich, 2 in 1774, said, "The number of the Epis- 

1 At the laying of the corner stone, the procession composed of the 
choristers, twelve in number, the architect, builde'rs, building committee, 
wardens and vestry, deacons, priests and the Rt. Rev. John Williams, D. D., 
the celebrant, marched from the Institute rooms in the Town Hall. On 
reaching the church, the procession opened, the Bishop and clergy pass- 
ing through, repeating the cxxn Psalm. The Bishop then proceeded 
with the service. The Rector of the parish, Rev. G. H. Deshon, then read 
a list of documents placed in the stone, viz., all those originally in the cor- 
ner stone of the old building, laid in 1848, together with a copy of the last 
will and testament of Moses Andrews Esq., (whose name and memory the 
church most warmly cherishes and reveres), a copy of the Journal of the 
Convention of the Diocese of Connecticut, for 1866, the Connecticut 
Churchman, The Meriden Recorder, and specimens of the fractional cur- 
rency then in use in the United States. There were present besides the 
Bishop and Rector, Rev. Drs. Beardsley of New Haven, Goodwin of 
Middletown, Hallam of New London, The Rev. Messrs. Adams of Haz- 
ardville, Baldwin of New Britain, Chamberlain of Birmingham, Gushee of 
Wallingford, Huntington and Mallory of Trinity college, Mason of New 
Haven, Niles of Trinity College, Townsend of New Haven, Ward of 
Cheshire, and Witherton of Buffalo, N. Y., Priests ; and the Rev. Messrs. 
M'Cook of St John's Chapel, East Hartford, and March, assistant minister 
of Christ church, Hartford, Deacons Mr. Henry Dudley of New York 
was the architect, and the cost of the Church was about forty thousand 

2 Minutes of Convention, for 1774, p. 62. 


copalians are about one in thirteen of the whole number 
of inhabitants ; and probably there would be no great 
difference from the proportion were the account of all 
the towns come in." The church in this colony had a 
long and feeble minority, forming as she did, part of the 
Diocese of the Bishop of London, and being of course 
far removed from all immediate Episcopal inspection, 
and having no means of keeping up her ministry, except 
as she received fresh supplies from' England, or sent her 
own sons thither for ordination. The early clergy 
struggled hard to establish the foundations of the church 
in the colony, and to overcome those prejudices with 
which they were compelled to contend. 1 

It has already been said, that from almost the first 
settlement of the colony, there had existed in it an estab- 
lished religion which belonged to the government, and 
was as firmly upheld by it as any branch of the civil 
machinery. Says a writer, " Intolerant principles were 
so deeply implanted in the inhabitants of New England, 
that all efforts to eradicate them at this period proved 
ineffectual." 2 In the elegant and forcible language of 
one of Connecticut's historians, " It is impossible that the 
opinions of any one generation should be locked up in a 
vault strong enough to keep them from age to age in 
their, primitive condition. Dampness will gather around 

1 In 1 705, a youth among the Friends wished to espouse a fair Puritan 
maiden, but the Quakers disapproved his marrying out of their society, 
and the Congregationalists his marrying into theirs ; so in despair he thus 
addressed her : " Ruth, let us break from this unreasonable bondage. I 
will give up my religion, and thou shalt give up thine ; and we will marry 
and go into the church of England, and go to the devil together." " And 
they fulfilled their resolution," the Puritan historian says, "so far as going 
into the church, and marrying, and staying there for life." 

2 Hannah Adams' New England, p. 117. 


them and steal away their vitality, violence will break 
open the doors that imprison them, and set them free, or 
their deliverance will be left to the more slow but equally 
rude action of the rains and frosts, which will soften and 
crack asunder the mortar and stones, until, if the key 
does not drop from the arch, there will be found many 
seams and crevices in the walls for the entrance of the 
winds. So it has been in the old world and so was it in 
the new." 1 Since the" year 1713, when Episcopacy was 
first introduced into Connecticut, we have seen it grow 
to number in this state one hundred and thirty-four 
parishes, one hundred and forty-nine clergy, fifteen 
thousand nine hundred and thirty-four communicants, 
and with an annual contribution for Missionary, Church 
and other purposes, of over two hundred and nineteen 
thousand dollars. It may be interesting to mention 
here, that the annual stipend allowed the Episcopal 
clergy in the colony of Connecticut, was usually from 
40 to $o sterling ; and unless the people provided a 
suitable parsonage and glebe, and contributed an equal 
amount yearly toward his maintenance, the clerical office 
was hardly surrounded in any place by a dignity and 
decency sufficient to command respect. Few of the 
Missionaries had any private means, and though they 
lived frugally, in conformity with the habits of the times, 
they were obliged occasionally to state their wants and 
the disadvantages of an inadequate support. 2 

1 Hollister, n. 540. 

2 The Mission of St. John the Evangelist, at Yalesville, belongs to the 
parish of Wallingford. 




THE first Baptist church organized in the colony was 
planted in Groton in 1705. The second was organized 
in Waterford (then part of New London) in 1710. The 
third was organized in Wallingford in 1735, consisting 
of about ten families, with Timothy Waters as pastor. 
The history of the earlier Baptist churches in Connecti- 
cut are especially interesting, because they grew up at a 
time when there was a legalized union of church and 
state. For a series of years they stood as visible expo- 
nents of divine doctrines and principles. We are to view 
the organization of the Baptist church in Wallingford 
with its thirteen members, not as we should now view 
the formation of a society, or voluntary association, in 
similar circumstances, simply as the frothy effervescence 
arising from the spirit of the age, but rather as a note- 
worthy illustration of heroic faith. Society-making had 
not then become, as now, a prevalent epidemic. These 
Baptist pioneers did not float along in the current of 
general opinion, but studied the Bible themselves. They 
organized a church because they thought there was no 
such local organization as the New Testament describes, 
composed exclusively of baptized believers, existing there, 
and because they devoutly sought a religion which wore 
every discernable mark of Apostolic genuineness. 


The political ecclesiasticism which was established by 
law throughout the State, was enforced by fines, by 
extortion, by imprisonment, and by branding. The fol- 
lowing laws stood on the old Colony Law Book : 

"Nor shall any persons neglect the public worship of God 
in some lawful Congregation, and form themselves into sepa- 
rate companies in private houses, on penalty of ten shillings 
for every such offence each person shall be guilty of." 1 

In 1723, a law was passed making the penalty of the 
above offence against a lawful congregation, twenty 
shillings. " Whatsoever person not being a lawfully 
allowed minister of the gospel," administered the sacra- 
ment to his flock, was fined ten pounds for every such 
offence and suffered besides " corporeal punishment by 
whipping, not exceeding thirty stripes for each offence." 
Many clergymen and members of the Baptist church 
were imprisoned for exhorting non-payment of assess- 
ments, and preaching the doctrines of the Bible as held 
by Baptists. In February, 1744, at Saybrook, fourteen 
persons were arrested for holding a Baptist meeting. 
The charge brought against them was, " holding a meet- 
ing contrary to law, on God's holy Sabbath day." They 
were arraigned, tried, fined and driven on foot through 
a deep mud to New London, a distance of twenty-five 
miles, and thrust into prison, without fire, food, or beds, 
where they remained enduring dreadful sufferings for 
several weeks. It was once so unpopular in Wallingford 
to be a Baptist, that when certain men were baptized, 
their wives felt that they had lost caste in society, and 
yielded to tears to assuage their sorrow for their fallen 

I Acts and Laws, p. 139. 


The Baptist church in Wallingford had been organ- 
ized but a short time when Rev. John Merriman was 
ordained their pastor. 1 By the advice of Governor 
Talcott, the Wallingford society had not required any 
taxes from them for a number of years. In the "great 
awakening" they were aroused to a concern for the great 
interests of their souls ; and their pastor in behalf of 
himself and people, had invited some of the neighboring 
ministers of the established church to preach for them ; 
observing that as to the internals of religion they could 
heartily join with them, though not in the mode. 

In December, 1741, Rev. Philemon Robbins, 2 a " New 
Light" minister of the Congregational church in Bran- 
ford, received a letter from the pastor of the Baptist 
church in Wallingford, informing him that Dr. Bellamy 
had preached to their society to mutual satisfaction, and 
desiring that he would do the same. He was pleased to 
accept the invitation, and appointed a meeting for the 
purpose, January 6, 1742. But two days before the time 
specified, a deacon from Wallingford brought him a 

1 Mr. Merriman was subsequently pastor of the Baptist church in South- 
ington. The following record is taken from his tombstone in a small 
burying ground in the western part of the town. " The Rev. John Mer- 
riman died on Feb. 17, 1784, in the eighty-ninth year of his age. He was a 
Calvinistic Antipedo Baptist minister. 

Here lies the body death has bound, 
Whose soul with ministerial gifts was crown'd, 
His life his Master's doctrine did adorn, 
And waits his last reward till the auspicious morn." 

Another stone bears this inscription : " In memory of Mrs. Jemima, wife 
of ye Rev Mr. John Merriman. She died Oct. II, 1764, in ye 64* year of 
her age." 

2 Philemon Robbins was the son of Nathaniel Robbins, and grandson 
of Nathaniel Robbins who emigrated from Scotland to Massachusetts in 
1670. He was graduated at Harvard College in 1729, and was ordained 
at Branford, Feb 17, 1731. He died August 13, 1781. 


letter signed by forty-two men of the town, desiring him 
not to preach to the Baptists, without assigning any rea- 
son for the request but their own wishes. The messen- 
ger who conveyed him this letter, also presented him 
with a line from the Rev. Mr. Stiles, of North Haven, 
and Mr. Hemmingway, of East Haven, advising him not 
to preach in the Baptist meeting-house in Wallingford. 
Mr. Robbins could see no reason why these gentlemen 
should desire that he should not preach to the Baptists. 
It appeared to him rather unkind, and contrary to a 
Christian spirit, to prevent their having preaching, when 
they thirsted for the word of life, and there was a more 
than common prospect of doing good. He had given 
his word, and appointed the day, and though he had 
some hesitation with respect to it at first, after he had 
received the letter from Wallingford, he determined to 
go according to his engagement, and preached two ser- 
mons. For this he was complained of to the consocia- 
tion of Congregational Churches of New Haven county, 
February 9, ensuing, as a disorderly person, as follows : 

" I, the subscriber, do signify, by way of complaint to this 
reverend consociation, that on the 6th day of January last past, 
the Rev. Philemon Robins did enter into the first society in 
Wallingford and preach in a disorderly manner, in contempt 
of the authority of this consociation, without the consent of 
the Rev. Mr. Whittlesey, pastor of said society, contrary to 
the act of the Guilford council, contrary to the act of this 
consociation, and contrary to the desire of two neighboring 
ministers, and a great number of church members in Wall- 
ingford. THOMAS YALE." 

Mr. Robbins replied, that Governor Talcott had ad- 
vised the Wallingford collectors not to distrain ministeri- 
al taxes from them ; and that the public authority of the 


State sent them their annual proclamations for Fasts 
and Thanksgivings, as to other societies. Besides he 
had not entered Mr. Whittelsey's parish, but had preach- 
ed to a people entirely different from his. With respect 
to his preaching, contrary to the advice of two neighbor- 
ing ministers, and a great number of church members, 
he observed, that he knew no rule in the word of God, 
or the Saybrook platform, which obliged him to comply 
with their desire in his preaching, nor could he see any 
reason in such desire. He observed that there was 
nothing in the complaint accusing him of the violation 
of any of the divine commands, or of doing anything 
contrary to the word of God. The consociation, never- 
theless, resolved : 

" That the Rev. Mr. Robbins so preaching was disorderly : 
That Mr. Robbins should not sit as a member of this council 
for his disorderly preaching." 

Mr. Robbins, upon the reading of the resolutions of 
the council, returned home, expecting no more com- 
plaints or trouble, and he was sustained in his course by 
his own church. Very unexpectedly to him, a com- 
plaint was exhibited against him, to the association 
which sat at Cheshire, in May, 1743. Mr. Robbins 
accidentally heard of it, soon after, but he could not 
learn who were the complainants, nor what number of 
them there were, nor what were the articles of complaint. 
The next association which met at North Haven, again 
took the matter into consideration, and drew up the 
following confession, which they presented to him : 

"Whereas I, Philemon Robbins, was condemned by the 
consociation of New Haven county, for disorderly preaching, 
in the first society in Wallingford ; I do now acknowledge 
that my preaching there was disorderly ; and I purpose to 


preach disorderly no more, and desire the reverend associa- 
tion of New Haven county to overlook it ; I purposing and 
resolving, if opportunity favor, to go to said consociation, and 
acknowledge the said disorderly preaching before them, in or- 
der to be restored to their favor." 

As he could not acknowledge that his preaching to 
the Baptists was contrary to the word of God, or the 
Saybrook platform, and as he did not believe in his con- 
science that it was disorderly, he refused to subscribe to 
the confession. He offered a confession of his own, but 
the association would not accept it. But as the people 
were uneasy that he was not on good terms with the 
association, and as a good understanding with his breth- 
ren in the vicinity was desirable, he went to the associa- 
tion the next year in May, while it was sitting in North 
Branford, and offered three confessions to the associa- 
tion. The first was in these words : 

" I the subscriber do acknowledge that I preached at Wal- 
lingford, within the bounds of the first society, and without 
the consent of the Rev. Mr. Whittelsey, pastor of the first 
society, on January 6th, 1741-2, and now do acknowledge, 
that my preaching there was a breach of the order that the 
ecclesiastical authority of New Haven county have come into, 
by an agreement and vote, A. D., 1741, and so disorderly 
preaching in that respect, as it was contrary to said vote. 
And now I declare that it is my full purpose, at present, not 
to preach contrary to said vote of said authority ecclesiastical, 
for time to come, nor contrary to the act of the general 
assembly in May, 1742. And further, I humbly ask that the 
association of New Haven county would overlook what is 
past, and receive me to sit with them, &c. as formerly, and 
recommend me to be received by the consociation, upon my 
making this acknowledgment before them, which I stand 
ready to do when opportunity presents. 



It was a long time debated in council, whether this 
confession should be received or not. Some were for it ; 
but finally a majority appeared against it, and it was 
rejected. He offered them a second, but that did not 
satisfy them. He told them he had a third to offer, if 
they would hear it. They refused ; but one of the asso- 
ciation wished to have it, and promised to return it to 
him again, and there was no doubt but that the associa- 
tion heard it. It was as follows : 

" I the subscriber do humbly acknowledge that I preached 
at Wallingford, within the bounds of the first society, to 
the people called the baptists, January 6th, A. D. 1741-2, 
for which the reverend consociation have secluded me 
from the privilege of sitting with them, and people at 
home and abroad have been uneasy : I do therefore de- 
clare, that, though if I was instrumental of any spiritual 
good to any souls there, I must so far rejoice; yet upon 
every other account, I am sorry that I went ; and desire 
the association and consociation of said county to overlook 
it, and receive me to sit with them, &c., as formerly. 


Finding that nothing which he could conscientiously 
say would satisfy the association, he went home, hoping 
that what he had said might give satisfaction to his 
own people, though it had not to the association. 
Another complaint was privately drawn up and pre- 
sented to the association sitting at Amity, May 29, 1745, 
and a paper was drawn up, signed by fifteen members 
of the first society of Branford, requesting the con- 
sociation to take into consideration the difficulties and 
grievances they were laboring under. At a meeting 
of the association held at Waterbury, September, 1745, 
Mr. Robbins offered another confession, stating that 
he could not after more than three years study, medi- 


tation and prayer, be convinced in conscience that 
his so preaching was contrary to the holy scriptures, 
or the mind of God. The confession concluded as 
follows : 

" And now, gentlemen, I humbly beg forgiveness : let my 
ignorance of its being a crime apologize for me, that I may 
be restored. And I would humbly offer one motive to 
engage your compassion, viz. a prospect of peace among 
my people, who have been uneasy, for I think that in other 
respects, they are friendly and kind ; but this case has 
been an uneasiness with them, and a principal uneasiness, 
if I may judge by their complaints, or what I hear from 
their own mouths. And therefore, gentlemen, as you are 
professed lovers of peace, you will undoubtedly promote 
it, by restoring your unworthy servant." 

The association would not accept this confession, 
nor give it so much as a second reading. After some 
further prosecution of the affair, the consociation pro- 
ceeded to depose him from the ministry and the 
communion of their church. The record is as follows : 

" This Consociation do now and upon the whole judge 
and determine the said Robins unworthy the ministerial 
character and Christian communion ; and accordingly do, 
in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the 
word of God, and the powers invested in this Consociation 
by the ecclesiastical constitution of the government, depose 
the said Robins from his ministerial office, and ministerial 
and pastoral relation, to the first church in said Branford, 
and debar and suspend him from communion in any of 
the churches of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

This occured in 1747. Subsequently a petition was 
preferred before the General Court, that they would eject 
Mr. Robbins from his meeting-house, that a regular min- 
ister might be settled in his place. It should be observed 


that his church had previously voted to renounce the 
jurisdiction of the consociation. The Sabbath after he 
was deposed, Mr. Robbins preached from i Cor. 9 : 16 ; 
" For necessity is laid upon me ; yea, woe is unto me, 
if I preach not the gospel." Some of the people went 
to meeting with hesitation whether he would attempt to 
preach, or if he should, whether they should stay and 
hear him or not ; but he made such an extraordinary 
prayer as arrested all their attention and deeply im- 
pressed their minds. They judged that such a prayer 
had never been made in that house. They all tarried to 
hear what he would preach. And here again he gained 
their attention and entered deeply into their feelings. 
They imagined that his discourses were not less ex- 
traordinary than his prayer. He continued preaching, 
and performed all ministerial duties as he had done 
before, and the people attended his ministrations. The 
society advanced his salary and encouraged him by pub- 
lic acts of generosity. In the year 1755, about seven 
years after, he was invited to .sit with the consociation at 
the ordination of Mr. Street, at East Haven, and no 
objections were made on account of any thing which 
had passed in the times of his trouble. He attended 
the consociations until the time of his death, in 1781. 
Yet his church sent no messenger with him. 1 

There is no evidence that this First Church in Wall- 
ingford continued in existence after the year 1750. But 

I A History of New England, with particular reference to the denomi- 
nation of Christians called Baptists, by Isaac Bachus, Boston, 1779-84, 11. 
631. Trumbull's Hist, of Conn., n. 196-233. A plain Narrative of the 
proceedings of the Rev. Association and Consociation of New Haven 
county, against the Rev. Mr. Robbins, of Branford, since the year 1741, 
and the doings of his church and people. 1743. Sprague's Annals, 1,367. 


no doubt it exerted much influence toward the formation 
of another church in the town, nearly fifty years later. 
The immediate cause of the organization of the church 
whose history is now to be sketched, may probably be 
found in the occasional labors of certain Baptist min- 
isters attached to other churches in the State. Among 
these, the influence' of Rev. Solomon Wheat is most 
apparent from the records. The first conversions to 
Baptist principles among those who afterwards con- 
stituted the church, appear to have occurred under 
his preaching. And the first two candidates baptized 
repaired to Glastenbury, his place of residence, for 
the ordinance. August 23, 1786, seven males and 
five females met at the house where Charles Ives now 
lives, and " by mutual agreement spent the day in 
fasting and solemn prayer to Almighty God to succeed 
and bless their endeavour to build him an house, and 
that He would form them into a gospel church." The 
pledge, " We therefore agree to unite to make the 
following covenant with God and with one another," &c., 
was signed by 







On the /th of October, following, the church was 
publicly recognized, after due examination of their 
articles of faith and church order ; the Rev. Solomon 
Wheat of Glastenbury, and a delegation from the 
church over which he presided, giving the right hand 


of fellowship. The form of covenant adopted by them 
is very full and explicit, and expressed in language of 
great strength and solemnity. It should be remarked 
that the church was formed, their worship held, and 
their first house of worship erected within the present 
town of Meriden. No records remain of their action 
as a society, and hence information is wanting on 
some points, in which it would be desirable. Their 
church records however, are measurably full, and 
afford many hints of their general condition. They 
seem to have been without a house of worship for 
many years, and hence must have held their meetings 
in private dwellings, school- houses, etc. For several 
years they were generally held in the south-eastern 
part of the town of Meriden, at the residence of one 
of their members. 

In the year 1801, fifteen years from their organization, 
a dwelling-house was purchased and located near the 
division line of both towns, but within the limits of 
Meriden, and refitted as a house of worship. As may 
be supposed, it was of moderate size, and devoid of all 
ornament. Yet it served about fifteen years as a shelter 
and rallying point for Baptists, who gathered from Meri- 
den, Wallingford, Cheshire, Hamden, North Haven, 
Westfield and Berlin. And unpretending as the build- 
ing was, yet the language of the admiring Israelite 
concerning Zion, might be accommodated to the works 
of saving mercy wrought within it. "The Lord shall 
count when he writeth up the people that this and that 
man was born there." To many it proved " the house 
of God and the gate of Heaven." This building was 
called the "Temple," and was situated just north of the 
residence formerly occupied by Ivah Curtis. It was 


about thirty-five feet long and twenty-five feet wide. 
And now that it has passed the second time to the uses 
of a private dwelling, it is still associated in the memories 
of some with tried and faithful friends and brethren, 
whose voices, long since stilled in death, they were there 
wont to hear, as they sang the praises of God, and spoke 
his word with power. 

It is somewhat remarkable that this church remained 
without the regular service of an ordained minister for 
even a longer period than they lacked a house of wor- 
ship. It was not until May 2Oth, 1806, that their first 
pastor was ordained, making in all twenty years from the 
date of their organization. Yet, it should not be 
inferred from this that they were wholly destitute of the 
preaching of the gospel, and the administration of the 
ordinances of Christ. Doubtless they were enjoyed by 
them at stated seasons, in days of the greatest destitu- 
tion. And there appears from their records no cause 
for doubt that the worship and order of a church were 
regularly maintained by them, from the time of their 
existence as a church. And they appear to have had 
more ministerial service than most churches which are 
destitute of pastoral care. Their first pastor seems to 
have conducted their worship and supplied their pulpit, 
much, if not most of the time, for several years previous 
to his ordination ; and he probably by exchanges 
secured the services of ordained ministers for the regu- 
lar administration of the ordinances. But during their 
comparative, and even their greatest destitution, we 
have cause to regard them as on the whole a prosper- 
ous church. 

It appears from this record that their discipline was 
eminently Scriptural and laborious. No complaint was 


tolerated against a member until the aggrieved or com- 
plaining member had taken the first and second steps of 
labor prescribed in the i8th chapter of Matthew. And 
then the complaint must assume the form of a written 
allegation. Then they seem to have been prepared to 
bestow upon it any amount of time and labor which jus- 
tice to the parties and the interests of religion might 
demand. And we have evidence also, that they practi- 
cally recognized the right of the church to the gifts of 
its members, to a degree by no means common among 
us at the present day. Brethren of tried character and 
ability were regularly appointed by a vote of the church 
to conduct their religious services in the absence of 
ministerial aid. And the memory of many of these 
members is still fragrant, as characterised by eminent 
purity and devotion of life, and by the habit of frequent 
and powerful exhortation from the Word of God. And 
it may be doubted whether in any recent period it has 
been favored with as many able Christian exhorters as 
it had at the beginning of the present century. More- 
over, in view of the disadvantages under which they 
labored for many years, from the want of a house of 
worship and of needful pastoral service, and added to 
this, the strong prejudices and civil disabilities with 
which they were called to contend, we may regard them 
as prosperous in the point of numbers. 

In 1791, this church dismissed thirteen males and 
eleven females to form another church in the south part 
of the town. They were soon recognized as the " Sec- 
'ond Baptist church in Wallingford," by delegates from 
the First and Second Baptist churches in Danbury. 
Their house of worship was known as the " Separate 
Meeting House," and was located about a mile south of 


the present village. Their "Articles of Faith" were 
very full and decidedly Calvinistic. In doctrine they 
were in sympathy with the " Separates," who had left the 
churches of the standing order after the adoption of 
the " Saybrook Platform," and the " Halfway Covenant" 

It is impossible to trace the history of this second 
church from the records of the first, as we meet with no 
more than a single recognition of them afterwards. 
This church had no pastor until the year 1800, when 
Seth Higby was called to the pastorate. He continued 
his labors with them until his death in 1 804. After this 
the church had no settled pastor, but was supplied much 
of the time by ministers from neighboring towns. 
Elders Lester and Green frequently visited them. In 
1793, seven years from the formation of the first church, 
it had numbered in all sixty-four members. This rate 
of increase is probably greater than that generally 
realized by the Baptist churches during the last twenty 

In 1803, they dismissed twenty-nine of their number 
to form a church in Waterbury. Among the members 
of the 2d Baptist Church in Wallingford, who formed 
the first Baptist church in Waterbury, were Zenas 
Brockett, David Frost, and Isaac Terrell. For several 
years it was their custom, and the custom of those after- 
wards associated with them, to visit the church of their 
adoption at least once every month, and this journey, a 
distance of twelve miles, they usually performed on foot. 
By these brethren, meetings were established and con- 
ducted in the town of Waterbury ; and Nov. 10, 1803, a* 
church was organized of those previously connected 
with the Second Baptist Church in Wallingford. Preem- 
nent in this movement were the brethren whose names 


are above recorded ; men who deserve a cherished and 
honored memory as leaders of the infant church, and as 
Christians of tried integrity of character and purity 
of life. 

In 1804, a church was formed in Westfield parish, 
Middletown, by members dismissed for that purpose 
from the Second Baptist Church of Wallingford. That 
church maintained its existence nearly fifty years, and 
saw days of peace and usefulness. More recently, it ex- 
perienced heavy trials, resulting in the reduction of its 
membership. Reduced still farther by the removal of 
members to other places, it finally disbanded. Yet it 
lived not in vain. *It has given back to the church from 
which it originated a number of valued members, and 
to other and remoter churches it has made its contribu- 
tions of active laborers in the cause of Christ. 

In 1811 the second society in Wallingford disbanded, 
and a part of their number united with the labors of 
Joshua Bradley, who was living in Wallingford. Mr. 
Bradley came from Rhode Island in 1809, and being a 
thoroughly educated man, commenced teaching and 
preaching in the village of Wallingford. Soon an acade- 
my was built for him, and he preached a part of the 
time in that. There was no organized Baptist church 
in the center, while he labored in the town. But there 
was a (Baptist) congregation of that order, and they met 
for worship a part of the time in what was known as 
the "Wells House." A Mr. Wells held Calvinistic 
sentiments, and with many others separated from the 
old Congregational church, and erected a new house of 
worship which was located where the Episcopal church 
now stands. The Baptists worshiped in it until their 
present house of worship was erected in 1822. 


There are many now living who testify to Mr. Bradley's 
faithful and incessant labors during a period of seven or 
eight years, while he taught in the Academy and 
preached on the Sabbath. He did not escape the perse- 
cution of those days. On one occasion he was forcibly 
taken from the school-room by an officer of the law, and 
hurried away to New Haven and confined in jail. His 
friends immediately bailed him out. When he was 
preaching in New Haven, about the time of the consti- 
tution of the First Baptist church in that city, he was 
tried before the Superior Court. In the language of 
the indictment, he was charged with "drawing away 
from their respective Pastors and Ecclesiastical Societies, 
to which they belonged, many of the citizens." But in 
every trial his enemies were confounded ; and the oppo- 
sition to him resulted in the furtherance of the gospel. 

At this time there was no Baptist church in Walling- 
ford. What was the First church in the north part of 
the town, was still in existence, but the house of wor- 
ship was in Meriden. In 1806, when Meriden was 
incorporated as a town, a part of the township was set 
off from Wallingford, as has been before stated. The 
line of division between the two towns was run a little 
south of the Old " Temple." After this the church was 
called the " Baptist church in Meriden." The house of 
worship stood about three miles from Meriden center, 
and about four from the center of Wallingford. It was 
found at length to be unfavorable with respect to the 
centers of the population around them. Hence, after 
long, perhaps too long delay, it was resolved to rear the 
banner which had been given them to be displayed 
because of the truth, in the center of Meriden. This 
appears to have been done also, with the view to a 


separate organization for the center of Wallingford. 
Accordingly in 1815, measures were taken for the 
erection of a house of worship in the village of Meriden. 
This appears to have been done mainly at the expense 
of that part of the members who resided in Meriden, 
and who would naturally attend at the new place of wor- 
ship. The building was probably erected the same 
year ; and although left unfinished in the interior, was 
applied to the uses for which it was designated. Whe- 
ther the members in Wallingford united with them in 
worship for a time, or maintained a separate meeting at 
the old place or in Wallingford village, does not appear 
from the records. When the brethren in Meriden 
erected a new house of worship, the members living in 
Wallingford then began to think of forming a separate 
church of their own. Accordingly, as the record reads, 

" The Baptist Church in Meriden being fully persuaded 
that it would be for the advancement of Zion, to constitute a 
Baptist Church in Wallingford out of their number, voted to 
call a council for that purpose." 

At the call of the Meriden church, a council was 
convened May 15, 1817, and the present Baptist church 
of Wallingford was then constituted, consisting of 
thirty-four members. In 1821, when the Hartford 
Association met in Sandisfield, Mass., the church re- 
ported eighty members. Their first pastor was Rev. 
Samuel Miller. Henceforth, the paths of the two 
bodies diverge, or rather run distinct, though parallel. 
Let us follow the history of the church in Meriden. 

Greatly weakened by the loss of one-half or more of 
its members, the progress of the church was not rapid, 
if indeed it has ever been so, in point of enlargement. 
Two other churches preceded it in the village, in the 


order of time, and one of them which had existed from 
the year 1725, more than fifty years before the existence 
of the Baptist church had gathered around it the mass 
of the population. The small meeting-house, for two or 
three years naked in the interior, and the small number 
of attendants, presented a painful contrast with the 
numbers and circumstances of their brethren adjoining 
them. Many pronounced the attempt a failure at the 
beginning ; and probably for sometime afterwards had 
little apprehension of proving false prophets. Years of 
toil, and apparently of unrequited toil, awaited the 
brethren. Yet amid periods of comparative weakness 
and barrenness there were seasons of limited success, 
and of brightening prospects. A revision of the roll 
of members, reported October 3, 1819, showed the 
whole number of members to be seventy-three. 

But the year 1820 appears to have been one of 
increase, both in point of numbers and of strength, and 
hence of reviving hope and courage. About twenty 
persons were added to their number by baptism. Some 
valuable additions were made to the church in succeed- 
ing years ; but no general revival followed until the year 
1829. In the autumn of this year a more extensive 
revival of religion commenced, than the church had 
before witnessed since its organization. A revision of 
the records which took place a few years afterwards, in- 
volving the destruction or loss of the former roll of 
membership, has rendered it impossible to determine the 
number added to the church during that revival. It is 
believed however, that about twenty were received. 
While the work was rising and spreading rapidly, the 
pastor of the church was suddenly removed to his 
account. The short interval of four days only, occurred 


between vigorous health and active labor, and his death. 
Four days later the wife of the pastor was removed by 
death. Five days more, and one of the deacons of the 
church, who, for nearly twenty years had proved himself 
a firm friend and advocate of the church, lay prostrate 
in death. 

Rev. William Bentley was secured for the temporary 
supply of the pulpit, and under his preaching, an 
impulse was given to the church which it has probably 
never wholly lost. Father Bentley was naturally pos- 
sessed of considerable mental energy, and especially 
great intensity of feeling, and vividness of imagination. 
His language was often awkward and blundering; but 
the moment his mind began to glow, it became simple 
and touching, and often quite eloquent. 1 In June, 1830, 
Rev. Russell Jennings assumed the pastoral charge. 
During this year, the house of worship was removed, 
and received an addition to its length, together with a 
spire, and a basement room used as a vestry. Mr. 
Jennings remained until November, 1832, a period of 
two years and five months. In September ensuing, 
1833, Rev. Nathaniel Hervey became pastor of the 
church, and continued in that relation about one year. 
April i, 1835, Rev. George B. Atwell was called to 
the pastoral charge, and retained it two years. In May 

i Rev. Wm. Bentley was born at Newport, R. I., March 3, 1775. At the age 
of fifteen, he was sent to Boston to learn a trade of a baker ; was baptized 
May, 1791. At the end of his apprenticeship he commenced business as a 
baker in Boston. He was first licensed to preach in 1806, and was first 
settled at Tiverton, R. I. From thence he removed to Worcester, Mass., 
where he preached three years with a salary of one hundred dollars per 
annum. In 1815, he removed to Wethersfield, Conn., where he remained 
six years ; after which he sustained no pastoral charge, but preached in 
various parts of the State. He died December 24, 1855, aged eighty years. 


ensuing, 1837, Rev. Leland Howard succeeded him, 
and served until June, 1838. 

In August, 1838, Rev. Harvey Miller entered upon 
the services of the church, which he served in all fidelity 
until called to his rest and reward on high, upon which 
he entered August 27, 1856, having served the church as 
pastor eighteen years. 1 He was a genial and loving 
friend, with rare conversational powers, and a favorite 
with all. As a preacher, his sermons were full of rich 
thought and evangelical truth, and his delivery was 
rapid, animated and energetic. 2 

In 1848, the society increasing with the growth of the 
town, erected for themselves a large and beautiful 
church, not far from the site of the former one. The 
cost of the new house, completed and furnished, together 
with the land and the lecture-room, was $9,500. Its 
dimensions are seventy-six feet long and fifty-three feet 
wide. 3 

April i, 1857, Rev. D. Henry Miller entered upon 

1 Church Manual, 1861. 

2 Rev. Harvey Miller was born in Wallingford, April, 3, 1814. His 
father, Rev. Samuel Miller, preached in this town twenty-three years. On 
his seventeenth birth-day, 1831, he was baptized by Rev. Simon Shailer, 
and two months after united with the church. He preached his first ser- 
mon in the North Farms' school-house, Sabbath evening, June 5, 1831, 
from John in : 14. After preaching in various places for nearly a year, 
he entered upon a course of study at Hamilton Theological Institute in 
1832. His health failing him he left the Institution in June, 1836, and went 
to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was ordained November 23, 1836. 
After preaching there two years he came to Meriden, where he was 
married to Mrs. Sarah R. Ives, May 21, 1839. His pastorate in Meriden 
extended through eighteen years. He preached his last sermon in this 
church, August 17, and died on the 27th, 1856, aged 42 years. 

3 In 1869, an addition was built on the west end of the church, to con- 
tain an organ, which was presented by Edward Miller, Esq. 


the duties of the pastorate, at the unanimous call of the 
church. A work of grace soon blessed his labors, and 
ninety-three persons were received in the ordinance of 
baptism, and forty-nine by letter and experience, during 
the first two years of his ministry. The membership at 
this time was 474. 

During his pastorate the Second Baptist church in 
West Meriden was organized, June 4, 1861, by members 
dismissed from the First Baptist church. A lot for a 
church edifice was secured at a cost of $400. A chapel 
was built at a cost of $1,700, in which the society wor- 
shiped until their church was built. This church is 
built of brick, with brown stone trimmings, after the 
modern Gothic style of architecture. Its dimensions are 
eighty-two by forty-two feet, with transepts seventy-two 
feet wide extending twenty-five feet on one side, and 
thirty-three on the other, making the entire width of 
the church across the transept to be one hundred feet. 

Mr. Miller closed his connection with the church, and 
entered the service of his country as chaplain in the 
1 5th regiment. 1 He was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Mason, 
who remained here about one year. Rev. Henry A. 
Cordo was settled over the society in 1864, and re- 
mained until September, 1866. He was followed by 
Rev. Otis Saxton, who supplied the pulpit until Septem- 

i Rev. D. Henry Miller was the eighth son of James and Mary A. Miller, 
of Charlestown, Mass. His mother was a daughter of one of the heroes of 
Bunker Hill. Mr. Miller was born in Jersey City, Oct. 31, 1825; was 
graduated in 1845 ; took degree of A. M. in 1849 from Madison Univer- 
sity. He was ordained at North Stonington, Conn., Nov. 17, 1847. I' 1 
1866 the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by the 
University of Lewisburg, Penn. Became pastoral Meriden April i, 1857, 
where he served successfully, and left the church to enter the service of 
his country during the rebellion. In 1868, he was called to the Broad St. 
Baptist church of Elizabeth, N. J. 


her, 1867, when he left for Valparaiso, Wisconsin. June 
7, 1868, Rev. Almond Barelle 1 was installed as pastor 
of the church. 

We will now return to the Wallingford church. 
When the Rev. Samuel Miller was dismissed to join the 
church in Meriden, his associate, Rev. Sedgwick Rice, in 
connection with Rev. Mr. Wilson, who preached a part 
of the time, had the oversight of the church until 1825, 
when Rev. Seth Ewer was called to the pastorate. He 
continued his labors until July, 1827. From that time 
to 1831, the church was successively supplied by El- 
ders Glazier, Kimball and Knowlton. In 1831, Simon 
Shailer was called to the pastorate. Under his ministry 
a good number were added to the church. Early in 
1837 he was succeeded by Francis Hawley, who, in 
1841 was succeeded by Mr. Batcheler. In 1843 Mr. 
Batcheler adopted " Millerite views," and thus created 
division in the church, which resulted in the exclusion of 
many from its fellowship. In 1844 A. E. Denison was 
called to take the pastoral charge of the church. When 
he commenced his labors, the church was in a low 
state ; but with his judicious efforts there was soon a 
good degree of union and prosperity in the church. In 
1847 they remodeled their house of worship, and added 
the front part and steeple at a cost of nearly $3,000. In 
1850 Charles Keyser became pastor of the church, and 
was succeeded in 1853 by S. B. Grant. In 1855 Rev. 
R. J. Adams was called, and during his pastorate the 

I Mr. Barelle was graduated at Madison University, and was a student 
at the Rochester Theological Seminary. He was first located at Central 
City, Colorado, where he remained three years. His next pastorate was 
in Brooklyn, N. Y., where he remained two years. Sept. 24th, 1864, he 
married Miss Julia E. Merchant at Central City, Colorado. 


church enjoyed two revivals, and seventy-one were added 
to the membership. January 19, 1870, Mr. Adams was 
installed as pastor of the Baptist church in Holyoke, 
Mass., and was succeeded by the Rev. A. C. Bronson in 
1870. The church has suffered greatly from a frequent 
change of pastors. During the fifty-two years of its 
existence it has had no less than fifteen. The longest 
terms of office were held by Messrs. Shailer and Denison ; 
the one five years, and the other seven years. 

It is worthy of notice, that at the call of this church, 
a convention of delegates from nine churches met in the 
academy at Wallingford, Sept. 15, 1825, and formed the 
New Haven Baptist Association. Since 1826, there have 
been added to the church by baptism, three hundred and 
ninety-three ; by letter, ninety-five. As nearly as can 
be estimated, there have been connected with the church 
since its formation over six hundred members. 1 

The doctrinal views of the Baptist churches are like 
those of the early Puritans, and their church organiza- 
tion is strictly congregational, holding that none are 
proper subjects of Christian ordinances, but professed 
believers, and thus of course excluding unconscious 
babes from the ordinance of baptism. Their church 
government is essentially democratic. As a denomina- 
tion, it is believed they have ever in all countries, and 
at all times, been opposed to the interference of the 
civil authority in matters of conscience ; believing as 
Roger Williams has said, in that great cardinal principle, 
the full enjoyment of "soul liberty." It is worthy of 
special note, that the Rev. Asahel Morse, then pastor 
of the first Baptist church in Suffield, was one of the 

I Minutes of N. H. Bapt. Ass., 1859. 



delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1818, and 
that the article in the constitution, on religious liberty, 
is from his pen. 1 

The following is a list of the regular pastors who have 
been settled over the church in Meriden : 










HENRY A. CORDO, 1864, 


Served one year. 

twenty-three years, 
two years, 
one year, 
two years, 
one year, 
eighteen years. 

two years. 

During the vacancies in the pastoral office at different 
times, the pulpit has been supplied by Rev. S. Wheat, 
and Elders S. Higby, Parsons, Graves and Beach, and 
Rev. Messrs. William Bentley, Otis Saxon, and other 
clergymen. The following have served the church as 
deacons : 

JOHN HALL, 1800. 
SAMUEL' I. HART, 1851. 

ASA BUTLER, 1814. 
JOHN HALL, re-elected, 1830. 


I Hollister, n. 561. 




IN 1785 Dr. Dana's health had become so much en- 
feebled that he found himself inadequate to discharge 
all his duties ; and by request, the church and society 
with great unanimity chose Mr. James Noyes to be his 
colleague. Mr. Noyes belonged to a line of ministers 
which at the time of his death had existed during two 
hundred years in uninterrupted succession. The family 
of Noyes is of Norman descent, and originated in Eng- 
land with William de Noyes, one of the followers of 
the Duke of Normandy in his conquest of England 
in 1006. The family settled in Cornwall, England, in 
the reign of Charles I. William de Noyes of St. Burian, 
was Attorney General, and his son Humphrey was a 
Colonel in the Royal army and married to the heiress of 
Lord Sandys. 

Rev. James Noyes, the emigrant, was born at Choul- 
derton, or as Brook has it, Chaldrington, in Wiltshire, 
England, in the year 1608. His father, who had a high 
reputation for learning, was a minister and school-master 
in that town ; and his mother was a sister of the Rev. 
Robert Parker, a famous Puritan divine. Mr. Noyes 
was graduated at Brazenose college, Oxford. After he 
had entered upon the work of the ministry, he felt that 


he could not conscientiously conform to all the instituted 
ceremonies of the Established Church ; he therefore 
formed the purpose of seeking a home on this side of 
the ocean. Shortly before carrying this purpose into 
effect, he was married to Sarah, the eldest daughter of 
Joseph Brown, of Southampton. He came to this coun- 
try in 1634, being accompanied by a younger brother, 
Nicholas Noyes, and his cousin, Thomas Parker. Shortly 
after his arrival he was called to preach at Mystic ( now 
Medford), and remained there a year. A church was 
gathered at Newbury, of which Mr. Parker was chosen 
pastor, and Mr. Noyes teacher. Mr. Noyes, at the close 
of his life, endured a long and tedious illness with the 
most cheerful submission. He died October 22, 1656, 
in the forty-eighth year of his age, having been minister 
at Newbury more than twenty years. 

Mr. Noyes left six sons and two daughters, all of 
whom lived to become the heads of families. His 
eldest son James, was born March 1 1, 1640 ; was gradu- 
ated at Harvard college in 1659 ; began to preach at 
Stonington, Connecticut, in 1664; was ordained pastor 
of the church there September 10, 1674; and died 
December 30, 1719, in his eightieth year. Moses, 
another son, was born at Newbury, December 6, 1643; 
was graduated at Harvard College in 1659; was or ~ 
dained the first minister of Lyme, Connecticut, in 1693, 
having preached there twenty-seven years before a 
church could be formed; and died November 10, 1726, 
aged eighty-three. 1 Joseph Noyes was the son of Rev. 
James Noyes of Stonington. He was graduated at 
Yale College, 1709, and was a tutor there from 1710 to 

I Mather's Magnalia, III. Brook's Lives, 161. Coffin's Hist, of New- 
bury. Sprague's Annals, I. 


1715 ; was ordained pastor of the First church in New 
Haven, July 4, 1716; where he died June 14, 1761, 
aged seventy-three years. 1 He left two sons ; John, 
who was graduated at Yale College in 1753, became 
a preacher, but was prevented from settling in the min- 
istry by imperfect health, and died greatly lamented in 
1767. He married Mary, daughter of Rev. Joseph Fish 
of Stonington, and had three sons, two of whom after- 
wards became clergymen. One of them, John, was 
graduated at Yale College in 1799, was ordained pastor 
of the church at Norfield, parish of Weston, Ct., May 31, 
1786, and died May 15, 1846, in his eighty-fourth year. 
He published a Half-century sermon in 1836. 

The other son, James, the successor of Dr. Dana at 
Wallingford, was born in New Haven, August 4, 1764. 
He was graduated at Yale College in 1782, and ordained 
colleague pastor with Rev. James Dana, May 4, 1785, 
being then in his twenty-first year. He continued to 
discharge the duties of the pastoral office till June 5, 
1832, i. e., for forty-seven years ; in all which long period, 
almost half a century, he was prevented from performing 
his 'public duties, by ill health, only on two Sabbaths. 
His relation with his people was dissolved amicably and 
at his own request. He continued, however, to reside 
among them until his death, February 18, 1844, sus- 
taining with them and with his successor, the Rev. Mr. 
Gilbert, the most friendly relations. His funeral was 
attended on February 20. Several members of his 
family being ill, prayer was offered at the house by the 
Rev. Stephen Dodd, of East Haven. An excellent and 
very appropriate sermon from Hebrews 13:7, was pro- 
nounced by the Rev. Edwin R. Gilbert, with sacred 

i Bacon's Hist. Dis., p. 200. Allen's Kiog. Diet. 


music from the choir, while an attentive audience (almost 
the entire population), listened, with manifestations of 
deep feeling. An address was delivered at the grave by 
the Rev. Saul Clark, of Meriden ; it was solemn and 
affectionate, and the sick family were warmly commended 
to favor and sympathy. 

Mr. Noyes was distinguished for a sound judgment 
both in his public discourses and in his personal deport- 
ment, which was always discreet, amiable and concili- 
ating. He was a lover of peace and harmony, and passed 
through difficult times, in a trying position, in so happy 
a manner as at once to maintain the dignity of his office 
and character, and still to command the respect and 
good will of all ; for it is not known that he ever had a 
personal enemy. His prayers, especially on peculiar 
occasions, such as cases of domestic affliction, were re- 
markable for their elevation, spirituality, and adaptation 
to the circumstances of every case. His language was 
select and happy, and so peculiarly his own, that it ap- 
peared always original but still met every feeling of the 
mourner ; and he never hesitated or use 1 an inappropri- 
ate word. His house was eminently hospitable, and a 
hearty welcome was given to the friend and the stranger, 
both by him and his excellent partner, who died in 
January, 1838. Out of fourteen children, they buried 
eight, and most of them of mature years. The death of 
Mr. Noyes was peculiarly happy ; during the week of his 
illness with lung-fever he was patient, cheerful, affec- 
tionate and joyful in hope ; he took leave of his family, 
one by one, with counsels and prayer, and when he died 
those who loved him most could not wish that he might 
return, for 

" Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." 



No picture of the " good parson" that was ever drawn 
could exceed in beauty that of the Rev. Mr. Noyes, 
whose life and manners had that indescribable beauty, 
completeness, and sacredness, which religion sometimes 




gives when shining out through a peculiarly congenial 
natural temperament. The following entry was made 
by Mr. Noyes on the church records : 


"From the day of my ordination May 4th, 1785, I was 
continued in office till June 5th, 1832 ; having preached to 
the people of my charge, forty-six years and six months. 
During this period with the addition of four months, two 
hundred and seventy-nine have been admitted to com- 
munion ; five hundred and forty have received baptism ; 
and six hundred and ninety have died. 


Rev. Mr. Gilbert, 2 then in his twenty-fourth year, and 
a recent graduate of the Yale Theological Seminary, 
succeeded to the pastoral office, and was ordained Octo- 
ber 3, 1832. He still remains pastor of the church, 
being the oldest pastor in Connecticut performing the 
duties of the office, with one exception ; viz., Rev. Dr. 
Elbridge of Norfolk, his college and theological class- 
mate. The church membership in 1832 was about one 
hundred and fifty. Notwithstanding deaths and remov- 

.1 For descendants of Mr. Noyes, see genealogies. 

2 Edwin Randolph Gilbert, son of Peyton K. and Anna Gilbert, of He- 
bron, Conn, (ecclesiastical society of Gilead), was born Feb. 10, 1808. 
His father was a plain, substantial farmer, of more than ordinary intelli- 
gence and worth. He enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his fellow citi- 
zens, and was several times elected their representative in the Legislature, 
and once a member of the State Senate. Rev. Mr. Gilbert was fitted for 
college by Rev. Amos Bassett, D. D., of Hebron, and in the academies of 
Monroe and Westfield, Mass. He entered Yale college in 1825, and was 
graduated in the class of 1829. One of his classmates says of him, that 
he was a diligent student, and much esteemed by members of his class, 
especially by those most intimately acquainted with him. He passed im- 
mediately into the theological department of Yale college, and was licensed 
at the end of the second year by the New Haven East Association, and 
was installed pastor of the First church in Wallingford, Oct. 3, 1832. 
While in college, Mr. Gilbert was a great admirer of Dr. Taylor, and has 
ever been one of the best representatives of his theological system. Mr. 
Gilbert was elected a member of the corporation of Yale college in 1849; 
the mantle of his father-in-Jaw, Rev. Aaron Dutton, fell most worthily 
upon him. 


als, it is now two hundred and eighty-nine. During his 
ministry a new church edifice, designed to seat seven 
hundred and ten persons, has been erected at an expense 
of about $40,000. The corner-stone was laid June 16, 
1868, and it was dedicated May 21, 1869. 




We have but little information in regard to the general 
state of religion in the churches of this town during the 
earlier periods of their existence. But we know that 
from the year 1700 and onward, throughout all New 
England, experimental and vital godliness had very 
much decayed. The doctrines of Christ grew more 
and more unpopular; family prayer, and all the duties 
of the gospel were less regarded ; ungodliness prevailed, 
and infidelity was making alarming progress. Out of 
the church, was to be seen a general carelessness. In 
it, a spirit of deep slumber ; a want of discipline ; want 
of active brotherly love; want of everything, almost, 
but cold profession. As the good people who planted 
the town died and the new generation came on, there 
was a sensible decline as to the life and power of godli- 
ness. The generation which succeeded were not in 
general so eminent and distinguished in their zeal and 
strictness of morals, as their fathers. The third and 
fourth generations became still more generally inatten- 
tive to their spiritual concerns, and manifested a greater 
declension from the purity and zeal of their ancestors. 
This is not the place to enter upon a discussion or even 
a full enumeration of the causes of this declension. The 


" half way covenant," the numerous and almost incessant 
wars which oppressed and harassed the people, and the 
fierce political agitations of the day, were, no doubt, 
among these causes. 

In 1715, the General Association said, "that there 
was a great want of Bibles, great neglect of public wor- 
ship on the Sabbath," and complained of intemperance and 
other vices. Trumbull remarks, " that there was little 
of the power of religion ; that professors were worldly 
and lukewarm, the young people loose and vicious, fami- 
ly prayer was neglected, the Sabbath was profaned, 
taverns were haunted, intemperance and other vices 
increased, and many of the ministers preached a cold 
and lifeless morality." 1 Wallingford did not differ much 
in these respects from the rest of New England, and 
in our town as elsewhere, formality, irreligion and 
declension prevailed to a mournful extent. From the 
records we find that year after year not more than one 
or two united with the church annually. 

In 1735 there began a most remarkable religious 
awakening under the preaching of the celebrated Jona- 
than Edwards, at Northampton, which was the cause of 
the greatest revival of religion ever known in New Eng- 
land. It spread throughout Connecticut, and the feeling 
and interest manifested in the great themes of religion 
were intense and absorbing. Childhood, manhood, old 
age, the learned and the ignorant, the moralist and the 
skeptic, men of wealth and the highest official position, 
as well as paupers and outcasts, were numbered among 
its converts. Says Trumbull, " Negroes and Indians, on 
whom before no impression could be made, were heard 

I Hist. Conn., n. 137. 


with others making the great inquiry." 1 In some places 
not a solitary person could be found whose mind was not 
concerned for his soul's interest. In 1740 and 1741, 
various towns in Connecticut were most wonderfully 
affected. People flocked together on all days of the 
week in great crowds to hear the word of God ; they 
would fill the houses and then stand clustered around 
the doors and windows, pressing eagerly to hear ; they 
would go from one town to another wherever there was 
public worship. 

In the autumn of 1740, the Rev. George Whitefield 
arrived in New England directly from Charleston, and 
produced an excitement never before known in our re- 
ligious history. His itineracy, like the blazing cross of 
the Lady of the Lake, was the signal for an uprising. 
Fired by his passionate oratory, the masses revolted 
from the chill formalism of a dead ministry. He sailed 
from Charleston to Newport, where venerable parson 
Clapp, tottering with age, welcomed him as though he 
had been an angel of God. All classes caught the 
enthusiasm, and New England was in a blaze of excite- 
ment. A revival such as modern times had not before 
witnessed was the consequence. There was great in- 
tensity of feeling, and great diversity of sentiment and 
angry controversy followed. Those who favored the new 
doctrines and practices were called New Lights, while 
those who chose to adhere to the good old ways of their 
fathers, discountenancing innovation, were denominated 
Old Lights. The clergy were divided, " while the mag- 
istrates and principal men of the commonwealth " were 
on the side of the Old Lights. 

Notwithstanding Whitefield was a priest of the Epis- 

i Hist Conn., n. 144. 


copal Church, he grew more bold under the impulse of 
his successes and excited feelings, and finally threw aside 
as an oppressive yoke, all reverence for the authority and 
teaching of the Church ; and thereupon the Congrega- 
tional ministers opened wide their arms to embrace him, 
and their sanctuaries to admit him, that he might be 
heard by the vast crowds which everywhere crowded to 
their portals. 

He preached in Wallingford in Mr. Whittelsey's church 
about the middle of October, 1 740, and also in Mr. Hall's 
church in Meriden parish. Our records of that date in- 
form us of considerable accessions to the church. From 
Wallingford Mr. Whitefield proceeded to New Haven, 
and shortly after preached again at Wallingford, taking 
for his text the eighth verse of the eightieth Psalm : 
" Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt, thou hast cast 
out the heathen and planted it." While in Wallingford 
his wife joined him, having come from Hartford. Before 
leaving the town he preached while standing in his 
chariot to a large multitude, and soon after started for 
New Haven, large multitudes following him several 
miles on foot or on horses. When a church or meeting- 
house could not be obtained he preached in the open air, 
a practice which he had inaugurated in England, and 
justified by saying, " I thought it might be doing the 
service of my Creator, who had a mountain for his 
pulpit and the heavens for a sounding-board, and who, 
when his gospel was refused by the Jews, sent his 
servants into the highways and hedges." When he took 
his leave of Boston, it was supposed that twenty thou- 
sand persons assembled to listen to his farewell sermon. 
Late in October he reached New Haven, and was 
affectionately welcomed and entertained at the house of 


Mr. James Pierrepont, a brother-in-law of Edwards, and 
a sympathizer with his religious views. People came in 
from the country a distance of twenty miles to hear 
him, and many neighboring ministers also sought the 
opportunity of personal intercourse with a clergyman 
whose zeal and eloquence were so widely known. 

Whitefield seems to have been a man of more zeal 
than judgment ; better fitted to rouse and agitate than 
to guide and instruct ; and in the few years between 
his first visit and his second, a thick growth of mischiev- 
ous enthusiasm and disorganizing extravagances had 
sprung up in his track, and were unquestionably the 
result in part of his unbalanced and unguarded teaching. 

In 1745 the following resolve was "come into," by the 
General Association of the State : 

" Whereas there has of late years been many errors in doc- 
trine, and disorders in practice, prevailing in the churches of 
this land, which seems to have a threatening aspect upon 
these churches ; and whereas Mr. George Whitefield has 
been the promoter, or at least the faulty occasion of many of 
these errors and disorders, this association think it needful for 
them to declare that if the sajd Mr. Whitefield should make 
his progress through this government, it would by no means 
be advisable for any of our ministers to admit him into their 
pulpits, or for any of our people to attend upon his preach- 
ing and administrations." 

But after all we honor the name of Whitefield. Doubt- 

" The tear 
That fell upon his Bible was sincere." 

He was no doubt a true evangelist, earnest, faithful, 
fervent, self-sacrificing, eloquent as if gifted with a 
tongue of fire. Whitefi eld's power was comparable to 


the supernatural ; and it was in this view that John Foster, 
at a later day, found the only solution of his success. 
Says a writer, " In the pulpit his appearance and man- 
ners exceeded the dreams of apostolic grace. A youth 
of elegant form, with voice of enchanting melody, 
clear blue eyes, endurance which knew no exhaustion, a 
fancy which ranged both worlds, were all fused by a 
burning zeal for the salvation of souls. Such was 
Whitefield at twenty-five, and as such he was worthy of 
that ovation which he received at Boston when governor 
and council went out in form to welcome him. The 
evangelist bore his honors meekly, and hospitality did not 
weaken the vials of wrath which he poured upon the 
unfaithful. He found, as he said, in New England, ' a 
darkness which might be felt.' "' 

A great many itinerant clergy traversed the State. 
Among the most efficient and zealous laborers in the work 
were Tennant, Bellamy, Pomeroy, Mills, Davenport, and 
others. Many of the clergy of the colony however, strenu- 
ously opposed the measures employed and the effects pro- 
duced, and many of the magistrates and other leading men 
joined with them in denouncing the " itinerating clergy" 
and their converts as enthusiasts, new lights, and ranters. 
On the 24th of November, a grand council of ministers 
and messengers delegated from all parts of the colony, 
rret at Killingworth, as directed by an act of Assembly, 
to discuss the whole subject of traveling ministers, 
the disorders occasioned by them, the odium they 
brought upon settled ministers, and the countenance 
they gave to separatists. This council condemned as 
disorderly the preaching of one minister within the 

I W. Frothingham. 


parish of another without his leave. In conformity with 
this ecclesiastical decision the General Court, in May, 
1742, enacted a stringent law directed chiefly against 
irregular ministers and exhorters, entitled, " An act for 
regulating abuses and correcting disorders in ecclesiasti- 
cal affairs ;" by which, 

" Any person not an ordained or settled minister who should 
attempt publicly to teach or exhort without the express desire 
and invitation of the pastor or a major part of the church 
and congregation, should be bound in the sum of one hun- 
dred pounds lawful money not to offend again." 

Any foreigner or stranger not an inhabitant of the 
colony, whether ordained or not, was ordered "to be 
sent as a vagrant person from constable to constable, 
out of the bounds of the colony." The assembly not 
only passed laws against these alleged irregularities, but 
the several ecclesiastical bodies interposed their author- 
ity to check the innovations of the new lights. After 
numerous attempts to discipline the refractory preachers, 
the consociations and associations proceeded to suspend 
or expel all the new light pastors in the colony. In 
May, 1742, the General Assembly passed an act very 
severe on itinerant preachers. This act, in part at least, 
had its origin in the consociation of New Haven county, 
as appears from the instructions which they gave to their 
delegates whom they sent to the council, which were 
suggested first by the Rev. Samuel Whittelsey, of Wall- 
ingford, who had in the beginning received Mr. White- 
field with open arms. Trumbull considers this act of 
the General Assembly as an " outrage to every principle 
of justice." 

The trial of Rev. Philemon Robbins of Branford for 
preaching to the Baptists at Wallingford in 1742, was 


continued till 1747, and resulted in his deposition from 
the ministry. In 1744 the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy was 
brought before the assembly in consequence of a bill of 
indictment filed against him by Elihu Hall, Esq., of 
Wallingford, for publicly saying that the late laws of the 
colony, made concerning ecclesiastical affairs, were a 
great foundation to encourage persecution, and to en- 
courage wicked men to break their covenants ; and that 
if they did not, it was no thanks to the court ; and that 
the law which was made to stop ministers from going 
about to preach in other towns, was made without reason, 
and was contrary to the word of God. He was found 
guilty, and ordered to pay the cost of prosecution, which 
was ^32 los. 8d., and to be bound to his peaceable and 
good behavior in a bond of ^50. 

It is not to be denied that many gross errors and 
irregularities followed in the train of this remarkable 
revival. Many of the most enthusiastic of its subjects for- 
sook their pastors and their usual places of worship, and 
followed the " itinerants " from parish to parish and from 
town to town. Some of the preachers and exhorters 
encouraged the most boisterous manifestations of feel- 
ing during the public worship on the part of the audi- 
ence, and sought to arouse them by raising their own 
voices to the highest key, accompanied by violent gest- 
ures and the most unnatural agitation of the body. 1 From 
that period there appears to have been no season of 
revival in this town for the space of seventy-four years. 
As a natural consequence, both religion and the church 
had arrived at a point of great declension and feebleness. 
The congregation had become very small, and was daily 
becoming weaker. 

i Hollister, i. 470. 


In 1814, while Rev. Mr. Ripley was in the pastoral 
office, a revival occurred. Previous to that time, the 
church for several years had annually diminished by 
deaths and dismissions, without corresponding additions. 
In the fall of that year a few of the brethren in connec- 
tion with the pastor commenced a weekly prayer 
meeting, and the pastor commenced a series of pastoral 
visits to all the families of the congregation. He found 
with equal surprise and joy, that in all the houses at 
which he called, one or more persons were under deep 
religious impressions, and that the whole community 
seemed pervaded by divine influence. The revival soon 
developed itself in the increased attendance on public 
worship, in the deep conviction of sin evidently produced 
on the minds of large numbers, and probable conversion 
of many individuals. In the course of three or four 
months it is thought that nearly one hundred were con- 
verted, and about eighty of them subsequently united 
with the church. In 1822 eighty-one families were 
connected with the church, and one hundred and forty- 
nine persons constituted its members. Another revival 
occurred in 1829, during the ministry of Rev. Mr. Hins- 
dale, resulting in fifty persons uniting with the church. 
In the winter of 1833-4, while Rev. Wm. McLean was 
supplying the pulpit, a revival occurred in which seventy 
persons united with the church. In 1837 about forty 
were converted and united with the church. In the 
month of February, 1840, during the ministry of Rev. 
Charles Rich, commenced a revival more extensive and 
powerful than had ever before been witnessed in this 
place. For some time previous Rev. Dr. Taylor had 
preached statedly on the sabbath, and as afterwards ap- 
peared, his powerful and solemn discourses had prepared 


the minds of the people for the scenes which were to 
follow. About one hundred and thirty were converted, 
and one hundred connected with the church, and about 
as many more with the other churches of the town. The 
first sabbath school was commenced in 1818 with one 
hundred and thirty pupils ; it was kept only during the 
warm season until 1830. In 1831 it contained two hun- 
dred and thirty-one members ; and in that year seventeen 
of them united with the church. In 1832 adult classes 
became connected with the church. In 1837 it contained 
two hundred and seventy-four members. In 1841 the 
school contained two hundred and sixty-five members, 
and in 1847 five hundred and seven. 




IN New England, ever since the first free school was 
established amidst the woods that covered the peninsula 
of Boston in 1636, the schoolmaster has been found on 
the border line between savage and civilized life, often in- 
deed with the axe to open his own path, but always looked 
up to with respect, and always carrying with him a valu- 
able and preponderating influence. Next to the minister, 
ruling elder and magistrate, he was regarded with the 
profoundest respect ; and when he walked through the 
village, or rambled in the fields, with his head bowed 
down in meditation upon some grave moral question, 
or solving some ponderous sum, the boys dared never 
pass him without pulling off their hats. He was 
among the few who received the title of " Mr.," and stood 
next to the minister in the minds of the people ; just as 
he does in Goldsmith's inimitable description in " The 
Deserted Village." 

The school-boy's situation at that day was no sinecure. 
He was compelled to make many a deep indentation in 
his brain with the sharp points of sums in arithmetic 
not easy to do, and with sentences not readily subjected 
to the rules of grammar, and long words difficult to 
spell. Tough points in theology, seasoned with texts of 


scripture, and coupled with knotty questions of election, 
of faith, of works, and saving grace, formed a wholesome 
sauce to the more secular learning. Bits of practical 
philosophy, maxims that had been tested and found to 
be solid old English proverbs, scraps of experience 
pickled down in good attic salt ; something of civil 
polity and political economy, reverence of gray hairs, 
and respectful treatment to woman, were among the 
things that he was obliged to learn. Rough he might 
be and often was, but stupid he could not be ; for knowl- 
edge, and that of a kind not easily digested, was beaten 
into his skull as if by blows upon an anvil. Gentle or 
simple, he must submit to the same dry rules of appli- 
cation. 1 

Connecticut has long been distinguished for her 
common schools. The code of Laws established by the 
General Court in 1650 recognized their importance. 

" It being one chiefe project of that old deluder Sathan to 
keepe men from a knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former 
times keeping them in an unknowne tongue, so in the latter 
times by perswading them from the uce of Tongues, so that 
at least the true sence and meaning of the originall might bee 
clouded with false glosses of saint seeming deceivers, and 
that learning may not bee buried in the grave of o r Fore- 
fathers, in church and common wealth, the Lord assisting our 
endeavors. It is there fore ordered by this Courte that every 
Townshipp within this jurisdiction, after the Lord hath in- 
creased them to the number of fifty householders, shall 
appoint one within their town to teach all such children as 
shall resort to him, to write and read, whose wages shall be 
paid either by the parents or masters of such children, or by 
the inhabitants in general." 2 

1 Hollister. 

2 Trumbull's Colonial Records, Vol. i. p. 554. 


In 1677 a fine often pounds annually was imposed upon 
any county town that should " neglect to keep a Latin 
School according to order;" and upon any town in the 
colony that should neglect to provide a school for more 
than three months in each year a fine of five pounds 
was levied. In 1690 the schools in Hartford and New 
Haven counties were made free schools. The ancient 
records of Wallingford contain no allusion to the matter 
of public schools at an earlier date than 1678, eight 
years after the settlement of the village. On the twenty- 
seventh of November in that year it was voted in town 
meeting that 

" The towne complyed with what y e select men motioned & 
consented for y e incouragement of such a schoolemaster as y 6 
select men shall approve of to alow ten pounds a yeare and 
three pence a weeke for all schollers males or females from 
six to sixteene years ould so long as they goe to schoole." 

It is quite evident that schools had existed long before ; 
probably here as elsewhere, the school and the church 
took root together, and grew up with the first log cabin 
in the forest. For in Connecticut the schoolmaster has 
not been far off when the minister has been settled, and 
the school-house has been side by side with the church. 
Thus did our predecessors, like all the other founders of 
New England, develop a far-sighted religious wisdom, 
and a profound sagacity, which none of the princes and 
statesmen of this world knew. For all possible and 
conceivable ends had the power, blood and wealth of 
nations been squandered, for thousands of years, except 
for the only true ends of the state, the formation and 
elevation of men. The fathers of New England designed 
to raise up religious and intelligent men. They alone 
ever conceived, or at least actually carried out, the 


scheme of educating the people. In this point of view, 
the everlasting pyramids, the matchless splendors of 
Babylon, the great masterpiece of architecture, St. 
Peter's, are less imposing and valuable than the log 
school-houses of primitive New England. 

In 1680, Elijah Preston agreed to teach such children 
as should be sent to him for four months for ten pounds, 
and he " to find house-room, and the schollors wood." 
In 1684, the town granted 10 to the teacher out of 
the public treasury, and required the pupils to pay $ 
in addition. In 1689, the town voted ^5 for a school, 
and the next year ^4. In 1691, the town voted that 
all the money for schools should be raised by those 
who sent children to school. October 4, 1693, the 
town voted to give, and did sequester all the land 
lying between the old country road and the old mill, 
including the mill-pond, to the use of the school. De- 
cember 15, 1693, John Parker and Joseph Thompson 
were chosen a committee with instructions to employ 
a teacher ; and 6 were appropriated for the mainte- 
nance of the same, part in winter, and part in summer. 
In 1694, they gave 6 to schools. In 1695, Eleazer 
Peck, John Parker, and John Moss, were chosen a 
school committee, and 6 were given for the use of 
schools. The same year the town authorized the 
committee to employ a woman to teach in summer, 
and a man in the winter. The next year 6 were 
appropriated to schools. In 1697, the care of pro- 
curing a school-teacher was given to the selectmen 
to procure one as cheap as they could, and to enquire 
about building a school-house. The town also decided 
that the school-house should stand in the street between 
John Moss's and Joshua Culver's. The same year they 


voted to forbear building the school-house, but in 
December following they decided that the school-house 
should be twenty feet long and fourteen feet wide, and 
to be built at the expense of the town. In 1698, it 
was voted that each pupil should pay a penny a week. 
In 1702, it was voted that a school-house be built, they 
having hitherto hired a room for that purpose. The 
same year at a Court of Assembly at Hartford, it was 
ordered that the respective constables of the towns in 
the colony should levy the sum of forty shillings upon 
a thousand pounds, and deliver it into the hands of 
the committee, 

" Provided the said committees or select men will give 
them certificate under their hands of their receit of said 
money and improvement thereof for the maintenance of 
schools in their townes respectively according as the said law 
directs, which the said committees and select-men upon receit 
thereof are hereby required to doe." 

In 1711, fifty acres of land and money were voted to 
schools. In September of the same year, 

" Y e town voated that they would chous a commity to treet 
with y e Scool Master concerning his terms in order to a set- 
tolment & bring report to y 6 town. At y e same Metting M r 
Henry Bates scool Master gave the following proposals 

"Gontel Men. Upon second considerations I doe hereby 
propose that if y e town for incoragment will be pleased for to 
make sure and conferme to me fifty acres of land whar I 
shall care to take it up whar it is not already taken up ; & let 
me have the improvement of y e old Mill pon so called and 
all other Lands that belongs to the scool and fifty pounds a 
year for y e time we shall agree upon the town appointing a 
commity to agree with me and all those that sends chilldren 


to cast in thar mite towards purchaseing a horn sted and 
upon condition i may be yours to serve, 


" Att y e same meting y e town voatted thar accepttans of y e 
above s d proposell, and chose capt. Merriman, Sam 11 Mun- 
son, s r . John ives, for thair comitte to agree with y e s d scool 
mastter. December 24, 1713, y e town voated y 4 the money 
conserning y e scool Respecting chilldren shall be raised upon 
all y e children that live within a mille & half of y e scool 
hous, from six year old to teen, Whether they go to scool 
or nott." 

If we were to judge by some of these records, there 
were among these teachers some who were but poorly 
qualified for their employments. They are well de- 
scribed by John Trumbull in his "Progress of Dulness" 

" He tries, with ease and unconcern, 

To teach what ne'er himself could learn ; 

Gives law and punishment alone, 

Judge, jury, bailiff, all in one ; 

Holds all good learning must depend 

Upon the rod's extremes! end, 

Whose great electric touch is such, 

Each genius brightens at the touch. 

With threats and blows, excitements pressing, 

Drives on his lads to learn each lesson ; 

Thinks flogging cures all moral ills, 

And breaks their heads to break their wills." 

Female instruction must have been greatly neglected, 
when the daughters of men who occupied important 
offices in the town and church, were obliged to make a 
mark for their signature. December 29, 1713, it was 
voted that all children between the ages of six and six- 
teen that reside within a mile of the school house, 
whether they go to school or not, and those who attend 


one week shall pay for half a year. And John Moss and 
Samuel Culver were appointed to see that the teacher 
keeps his hours. The next year it was voted that all the 
children that go to school shall pay two shillings a head, 
and all the rest to be paid out of the town treasury. To 
this the following persons dissented, viz. : 





THOMAS BROOKS, V West side of the river." 





December 19, 1715, the following petition was pre- 
sented at town meeting: 

" The farmers residing on the west side of the river, to the 
town of Wallingford humbly show, that your neighbors have 
for some considerable time many of us dwelt remote from the 
town and under great disadvantage as to the great duty of 
educating our children, and the time allowed we wil keep a 
school according to law, and the bounds we desire is that 
West of the River as high as Timothy Tuttles and Timothy 
Beache's, and we hope that you will grant our request, in 
consideration whereof we subscribe friends and our names, 


The request was granted, and the town was divided 
into two school districts in 1715. In 1719 they voted to 
have three schools, one over the river two months, and 
in the north part near Samuel Andrews', one month. In 
1720, "every scholar that enters the school between the 
twentieth of September and the last of April, shall each 


bring half a load of wood, and if they fail, then they 
shall pay a fine of sixpence, to be looked out for by the 
committee." January 10, 1721, the town gave Mr. Bates, 
the schoolmaster, liberty to sit in the first pew in the 
front gallery of the new meeting-house. April 25 of the 
same year, " the farmers on the west side 6f the river, 
and the north farmers shall have the proportion of our 
schools, and this vote shall stand until the town see 
cause to alter it ; " and a committee was chosen to see 
that it was carried out. December n, 1722, one far- 
thing was added to the pound for the benefit of teaching 
at the farms such as could not comfortably come to the 
town to the school, they paying poll money, the same as 
those attending in town. 

About this time the management of schools was 
transferred to school society committees, by an act of 
the General Assembly. December 29, 1724, it was deci- 
ded that a new school-house should be built in the lane 
where the old pound was ; to be twenty-five feet long 
and twenty feet broad ; and Lieutenant Moss, Sergeant 
Nathaniel Curtis and Henry Tnrhand were chosen a 
committee to build said house. 

The school-house in what is now the Yalesville dis- 
trict was originally on the east side of the river, near 
the residence of Elijah Hough; and was not 'removed 
from there until about the year 1 800, when a new school- 
house was built, and the bounds of the district changed 
and enlarged. The present school-house is the second 
one built on the site situated on the west side of the 

The Union Academy 1 in Wallingford was chartered 

I The term "Academy," which in England had been applied to semina- 
ries of learning established by non-conformists, to distinguish them from 


in 1812, upon the petition of Samuel Cook, and for 
many years was in a flourishing condition. The academy 
building stood on the land now occupied by the house of 
Mrs. Samuel H. Button. In 1818, there were forty-five 
pupils. Our elegant Academies and highly improved 
schools are but the developments and natural growth of 
the early schools at Wallingford. 

For a long time the only books in common use in 
district schools, were the " New England Primer' and 
the " Psalter." The edition most commonly used was 
entitled, " The New England Primer, improved for the 
more easy attaining of true reading of English. To 
which is added The Assembly of Divines, and Mr. 
Cotton's Chatechism. Boston, Printed by Edward Draper 
at his Printing Office in Newbury street and Sold by 
John Boyle in Marlborough street, I777-" 1 This book 
contained a frontispiece of "The Hon. John Hancock, 
Esq., President of the American Congress," and a pic- 
ture of John Rogers in the flames, and his wife and nine 
children looking on ; also an illustrated alphabet begin- 
ning with 

" In Adam's Fall 

We finned all," 
and ending with, 

" Zacheus he 

Did climb the Tree 

Our Lord to fee." 

the schools and colleges of the Church of England, seems to have been 
applied, very naturally, by the sons of the Puritans to similar institutions 
in this country ; and though not confined to schools founded by Congrega- 
tionalists, was generally applied to such. Some of these institutions ceased 
to exist after a few years, while others were merged in the higher depart- 
ments of common schools ; but many of them were incorporated by the 
General Assembly, and became permanent educational institutions. 

i The first edition was printed by R. Pierce for Benjamin Harris at the 
London Coffee House in Boston, 1692. 


Arithmetic was taught in their common schools, the 
teacher only having a book, and writing the sums for 
the pupils, and showing them how to do them. " Dil- 
worth's Spelling Book, or New Guide," was introduced 
in 1740. The author was an Englishman, and died in 
England in 1781. His book was for a time in common 
use. Trumbull alludes to it thus, in 1772 : 

"Our master says, ( I'm sure he is right), 
There's not a lad in town so bright, 
He'll cypher bravely, write and read, 
And say his catechism and creed, 
And scorn to hesitate or falter, 
In Primer, Spelling Book, or Psalter." 

Dilworth's " Schoolmaster s Assistant" or arithmetic, 
was published after his spelling book had been well re- 
ceived, in 1743. It was much used in Connecticut. 1 

The school ma'am taught the children to behave, to 
ply the needle through all the mysteries of hemming, 
over-hand, stitching and darning, up to sampler ; and to 
read from ABC through the spelling-book to the 
Psalter. Children were taught to be mannerly and pay 

i The following books were in use in the schools of Connecticut at the 
various dates : Spelling Books : Dilworth's, 1740; Dyche's, 1750; Perry's, 
1780; Webster's, 1802; Murray's, 1819. Arithmetics: Jeak's, 1713; 
Hill's, 1752; Pike's, 1786; Adams', 1802; Daboll's, 1814. Readers: 
Webster's Selections, 1785; American Preceptor, 1792; Columbian Ora- 
tor, 1800. Geographies: Gordon's, 1 708 ; Guthrie's, 1785; Morse's, 1 790 ; 
(Jamming's, 1813; Adams', 1815. English Dictionaries : Bailey's, 1745; 
Dyche's, 1750; Johnson's, 1759; Entick's, 1770; Perry's, 1783; Walker's, 
1806. English Grammars : Salmon's, 1759; Lilly's, 1761; Webster's, 
1785; Alexander's, 1797; Murray's, 1806. Latin Grammars: Garret- 
son's, 1704; Burr's, 1757; Adams', 1800; Biglow's, 1809. Latin Diction- 
aries: Ainsworth's, 1736; Cole's, 1743; Young's, 1762; Entick's Tyro 
Thesaurus, 1808. Greek Grammars: Vossius', 1700; Wettenhall's, 1739; 
Milner's, 1761 ; Valpy's, 1808. Greek Lexicon: Schrevelius, 1700101774. 
Book- Keeping: Snell's, 1710; Perry's, 1777 ; Booth's, 1 789 ; Turner's, 1800. 


respect to their elders, especially to dignitaries. In the 
street they stood aside when they met any respectable 
person or stranger and saluted them with a bow or cour- 
tesy, stopping modestly till they had passed. This was 
called making their manners. Peculiar reverence was 
paid to the minister. Bold was the urchin who dared to 
laugh within his hearing. That reverend personage was 
accustomed to catechise them once a month in the 
meeting-house, and to accompany the exercise with 
many a stern reproof or grave admonition. 

The early schools were somewhat rude, and we may 
smile at their evident defects. But the world had never 
yet seen such men so poor that they could not build a 
hut twenty-four by thirty feet ; so harassed and perilled 
by a savage war that they .went to their Sabbath worship 
armed with muskets, while night and day their little vil- 
lage was guarded by block houses and patrols ; and yet 
in that deep poverty and from their first day in the wil- 
derness nobly sustaining the preaching of the Gospel 
and schools, virtually free to every child among them. 
The early settlers in the towns which composed the two 
original colonies of Connecticut and New Haven, came 
with their families and all the family relations existing 
from the first. They came with all the elements of the 
state combined in vigorous action, and with a firm pur- 
pose to make the then wilderness their permanent home. 
They came with earnest religious convictions, made more 
earnest by the trials of persecution. United in a com- 
mon faith, bound together by strong sympathies and 
already organized in churches for religious improvement, 
it was in harmony with their circumstances that they 
should seek the intellectual and moral culture of their 



IN the year 1754 a company was formed in Connecticut 
for the purpose of purchasing a large tract of land lying 
west of the province of New York, on the Susquehanna 
river, and belonging to the Six Nations. This tract 
extended about seventy miles north and south, and 
from about ten miles east of the river Susquehanna 
westward two degrees of longitude. This territory was 
admitted, by the best lawyers of the nation, to belong to 
Connecticut by virtue of her charter. It had been 
conveyed away by King James I. in the most ample man- 
ner possible, by letters patent under the great seal of 
England, bearing date November 3, 1620, to the Duke 
of Lenox, the Marquis of Buckingham, the Earls of 
Arundel and Warwick, with divers other persons, by 
the name of the council established at Plymouth, in the 
county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, ordering and 
governing of New England in America. This patent 
describes the bounds of Connecticut as extending 
" throughout the main lands," "from the western ocean to 
the south sea" This would include the whole of New 
York, and the principal part if not the whole of Penn- 


The Susquehanna company consisted at first of eight 
hundred and forty persons, and included a number of the 
inhabitants of Wallingford. The project of establishing 
a colony in Wyoming had been started by sundry indi- 
viduals in Connecticut in 1753 ; and in the following 
year, after the Susquehanna company was formed, a 
number of agents were commisioned to proceed thither, 
explore the country and conciliate the good will of the 
Indians. A purchase was made which included the 
whole valley of Wyoming and the country westward to 
the sources of the Alleghany. 

Here was nature in unconcealed loveliness. The mag- 
nificent forests, the luxuriant fertility of the soil and 
the climate gave promise of golden harvests and pleas- 
ant homes as the rewards of industry and enterprise. 
Game of every sort was abundant. The quail whistled 
in the meadow ; the pheasant rustled in its leafy covert ; 
the wild duck reared her brood and bent the reed in 
every inlet ; the red deer fed upon the hills ; while in the 
deep forests, within a few hours' walk, was found the 
stately elk. Standing upon " Prospect Rock " on the 
Pokono mountain range, and looking westwardly, the 
entire valley can be surveyed at a single view, forming 
one of the richest and most beautiful landscapes upon 
which the eye of man ever rested. Through the center 
of the valley flows the Susquehanna, the winding course 
of which can be traced the whole distance. Several 
green islands slumber sweetly in its embrace, while the 
sight revels amidst the garniture of fields and wood- 
lands ; and to complete the picture, low in the distance 
may be dimly seen the borough of Wilkesbarre. 1 

i The greatest effort of Campbell's genius was undoubtedly his " Ger- 
trude of Wyoming," a poem in the old style of English pathos and poetry, 


When the agents returned with such glowing ac- 
counts, no wonder that every town in the colony was 
ready to furnish emigrants to this paradise ; but the In- 
dian war for several years prevented their settlement. In 
1763 a number of emigrants from Connecticut visited 
the valley, cleared up some land, sowed their grain, and 
returned home. During the following spring they went 
back to Wyoming with their families, with the determina- 
tion of making a permanent settlement ; taking with 
them their stock, farming utensils and household furni- 
ture. Their crops had proved abundant, they were 
delighted with their new homes, and they began to an- 
ticipate a life of peace and plenty. If we may believe 

" The happy shepherd swains had nought to do 
But feed their flocks on green declivities, 
Or skim perchance the lake with light canoe, 
From morn till evening's sweeter pastime grew." 

But on the 1 5th of October they were suddenly startled 
by the sound of the warwhoop, which was followed by a 
fierce attack from a large party of savages. The settlers 
were entirely unprepared for such an assault, and about 
twenty men were killed and scalped. The remainder of 
the men, women and children fled to the mountains, and 
ultimately found their way back to Connecticut. 

In 1768 the Susquehanna company determined to 
renew the attempt to settle the lands at Wyoming. Two 
hundred pounds Connecticut currency ($667,00), was 

founded upon the desolation of Wyoming by the Indians in 1778. The 
Wyoming of Campbell is and will be a creation lovely to the heart and 
imagination of mankind. But the poet has given to the world a creation 
that is only imaginary. The " lakes," the " flamingo," and the " mock 
bird " are all strangers to Wyoming, and the historical allusions in the 
poem are not correct. 


appropriated to provide implements of husbandry, pro- 
visions, arms and ammunition, for those who might 
require assistance, and forty persons were to set out 
forthwith, and two hundred others were to follow the 
succeeding spring. At a meeting held at Hartford it 
was resolved that five townships, each five miles square, 
should be surveyed and granted each to forty settlers, 
on condition that those settlers should remain upon the 
ground, " man their rights," and defend themselves and 
each other from the incursions of all rival claimants. By 
the tenth of April two hundred and seventy able bodied 
men had left their homes in Connecticut for Wyoming. 

In January, 1773, the General Assembly determined to 
extend their jurisdiction to the settlers, and incorporate 
them into a town by the name of Westmoreland, with 
the same privileges as other towns in the colony enjoyed. 
As the Susquehanna company had its opposers, and as 
many imagined that the claim of the colony was un- 
founded, the measures which the Assembly adopted, 
produced considerable excitement in the colony. A 
meeting was called at Middletown to take the subject 
into consideration. At a town meeting held at Walling- 
ford, March 21, 1744, the selectmen presented the 
petition of a great number of the inhabitants, requesting 
a legal town meeting for the purpose of consulting- 
proper measures relative to the affairs of the Susque- 
hanna lands, " so far as they Judge Conducive to the 
Interest of this Colony." 

" It was thereupon motioned by a Prop" of said Purchase 
so Called that a peice printed and Published at New London 
addressed to the candid Publick should be read to said 
Meeting and said Motion was opposed, and that a peice 
Published at New Haven in the Connecticutt Gazette, Signed 


many, Should be first read which proposed a Convention at 
Middletown of the respective Towns in this Colony by their 
agents or Committee to Consult Salutary Measures touching 
the Matters aforesaid, and the same was agreed to be read 
accordingly, then the first mentioned peice was read pur- 
porting an answer to the Same, and followed with peices 
Published in the New Haven Gazette with the State of the 
Case of said Claim with the opinion of the attorney General 
&c., and others Councel Learned in the Law, also Several 
Manuscripts were offered and read ; particularly the Speach 
of Gov r Fitch on the Subject matter to the Deputies of the 
Six Nations in General assembly of this Colony may 1763, 
the List of the Colony and the Proceeding and Votes of the 
Susquehanah Company at Windham on the 9th Instant, and 
after a full Debate and Consultation thereon," 

The question was put whether they would nominate 
and choose a committee to represent the town of Wall- 
ingford at Middletown on the last Wednesday of March. 
It was voted in the affirmative, and Col. Elihu Hall, 
Benjamin Hall and Capt. Thaddeus Cook, "were Nomi- 
nated and Chosen a Committee in behalf of said Town 
to attend upon and Join s'd Convention." At this 
convention twenty-three towns were represented, and a 
petition and remonstrance were ordered to be printed 
and dispersed through all the towns in the colony, that 
the general sense of the public might be had thereupon. 
This petition called in question the right of the Assem- 
bly to extend its jurisdiction to lands west of the 
province of New York : 

" Measures which your remonstrants conceive to be of 
a very dangerous tendency, and pregnant with the greatest 
mischief to them and their posterity, and highly derogatory 
to the honour and interest, and destructive to the peace of 
the colony, and a great grievance." 


They claimed that the proprietors of the Susquehanna 
company were members of the last General Assembly, 
and deeply interested in the questions discussed, and did 
sit and act in the Assembly in the very matters in which 
they were deeply interested. The Assembly were re- 
quested to suspend the Wyoming settlers from interfering 
in the voting, being represented or otherwise transacting 
in the affair of government. 

This party and their memorials met with very little 
countenance by the people in general ; by many they 
were made a subject of banter and ridicule. At a town- 
meeting of the inhabitants of Wallingford, held April 
1 1 , 1 774, the committee who were appointed to attend 
the Middletown Convention, presented the " Remon- 
stance," which being read, a stormy debate arose, and 
papers and pamphlets were produced on both sides of 
the question, and it was put to vote whether they should 
be read in the meeting ; it was decided in the negative, 
and after sundry debates the question was put whether 
the town would accept the " Doings or the Remonstrance 
agreed upon by the Middletown Convention." 

"The Town Voted that the Moderator of said Meeting 
ordered the Vote to be recorded that they Excepted the 
Doings of said Committee at the Middletown Convention." 

In 1775, the Wyoming colony had become so nume- 
rous that it was taken under the protection of the gov- 
ernment of Connecticut, and organized into a township 
as a part of Litchfield county, by the name of West- 
moreland. The spirit that had roused the people of 
the colonies to resist the oppressive acts of the mother 
country, met with a cordial response from the settlers of 
Wyoming. In the year 1776 the militia of the town- 


ship were formed into the 24th regiment of Connecticut 
militia, and they furnished the continental army with 
nearly three hundred officers and soldiers to fight the 
battles of the country, which left the settlement at 
Wyoming weak and unguarded. 

Wyoming was a part of Connecticut. Her sons were 
there with their good English names, shrewd sense, 
unostentatious home-bred tastes, habits of economy, 
schools, religion, laws, industry and valor. Let us sup- 
pose that we too are there, and that it is early January 
of the eventful year 1 778. Hill and glade smile as the 
morning sun glances over the mountain, to woo and 
melt at last the cold unsullied snow. The hale cattle 
and the dainty sheep nipping the hay that lies in heaps 
around the stack in the open meadow, while the farmer 
who has just fed them stands with his hands in his 
pockets, regarding their growth with a complacent smile 
that is the outward sign of the promise that his heart 
has made to itself of thrift for his sons, and marriage 
portions for his daughters, are additional features in the 
picture. Should he ask you to accompany him home 
and breakfast with him, you need not excuse yourself or 
hesitate lest his busy wife and pretty daughters, whose 
complexions show that they once belonged to New 
Haven county, -should blush at the scantiness of the 
repast. They will set before you buckwheat cakes and 
venison, or it may be salt fish and the nice fragments of 
the wild turkey that flanked the loin of beef for yester- 
day's dinner. 1 

But this quiet state of things was not to last long. It 

I Hollister's Hist, II. 340. Miner's Hist. Wyoming, 208 9. Chapman's 
Hist. Wyoming. Stone's Hist. Wyoming. 


began to be rumored abroad that the Indians meditated 
an attack on the settlement. The settlers began to 
guard themselves with increased vigilance. Regular 
garrison duty was performed in the several fortifications 
by classes of the militia in successive order. Message 
after message was sent to their absent husbands in the 
continental army by the now thoroughly frightened 
women, begging them as they loved them and their ten- 
der babes, to come home. But Congress refused to let 
them go until every commissioned officer from Wyoming 
except two, had resigned ; and many privates had de- 
serted. But they reached their loved ones too late. A 
combined British, tory and Indian force had spread 
devastation and waste on every side. A terrible battle 
was fought ; and a massacre, awful in its details, com- 
menced. About one hundred and sixty of the Connecti- 
cut people were slain, or more than half of the able 
men in the valley. The valley was deserted, and nearly 
every house and barn were burnt. The entire region 
presented a scene of devastation and ruin. 

" On Susquehanna's side, fair Wyoming ! 
Although the wild flower on thy ruined wall, 
And roofless homes a sad remembrance bring 
Of what thy gentle people did befall ; 
Yet thou wert once the loveliest land of all 
That see the Atlantic wave their morn restore." 

The remainder of the people endeavored to seek safety 
in flight. The dense forests and swamps that sur- 
rounded the valley of the Wyoming were teeming with 
the widowed women and fatherless children of the 
pioneers, who were wending their way back towards 
Connecticut with blighted hjpes and broken hearts. 
Wyoming was a home to them no longer. 


"Waste were those pleasant farms, and the farmers for- 
ever departed ! 

Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts 
of October 

Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far 
o'er the ocean." 

The bodies of the slain lay unburied until the 22d of 
October, when a military guard of twenty-five men, 
under the direction of a lieutenant, collected their re- 
mains, dug a large hole and buried them. 

The New England spirit of enterprise and love of 
adventure were soon manifested in new settlements in 
the Wyoming valley ; a fort was built, and the few 
families who returned to the scene of their troubles 
proceeded to cultivate the fields. But by the unjust 
decree of Trenton, in 1782, the settlement was torn from 
Connecticut, and subjected to the authority of Pennsyl- 
vania, contrary to the wishes, and without the consent 
of the inhabitants. By this unrighteous act, Connec- 
ticut, which had held rank in the confederacy of 1775, 
as a colony of the first magnitude, and had been literally 
the keystone State of the confederacy during the 
revolutionary struggle, had met every crisis with the 
greatest promptitude and vigor, and had made such 
great sacrifices to establish the cause of liberty and inde- 
pendence, underwent the mortification of seeing the 
integrity of her territory violated, her size diminished, 
her laws solemnly enacted nullified without her consent, 
and her rank in the Union reduced. 1 But compromising 
and confirming laws were passed by the legislature of 
Pennsylvania, under which the Connecticut settlers 
were allowed to retain their farms. 

3 Hinman's Connecticut in the Revolution, 17. 




THE first planters of Wallingford, as in all new settle- 
ments, soon discovered the importance of having a mill 
for grinding their corn. Consequently they were not 
long in making preparations for the erection of one on 
Wharton's brook, a little south of the late residence of 
Joseph Doolittle. As early as 1673, at a town meeting 
on the 3oth day of January, it was "ordered that Lieut. 
Fowler be invited to come and confer with the towns- 
men about building a mill as he had proposed, so that 
the town might exactly know what his proposition was, 
that it might be reported to the town, and action taken 
accordingly." No further action was taken on the subject 
until February 24th of the same year, when Mr. Moss, 
Lieut. Merriman, Thomas Yale and Benjamin Lewis 
were chosen to confer with Lieut. Fowler concerning 
the mill, and liberty was granted them, provided Fowler 
would not agree to such terms as they might propose, 
to accept of his ; thus showing their great anxiety for the 
establishment of a mill in the town. Nothing appears 
to have been accomplished, as the committee made no 
report of their doings. 

A contract was however made by the committee with 


Lieut Fowler, and the work of building a mill was com- 
menced. On the fifth day of the fourth month, 1674, 
John Hall Jr., Nathaniel Royce, Benjamin Lewis and 
Nathan Andrews were chosen to look after the interests 
of the mill, and to cause the work to be duly accom- 
plished. A vigorous move was now made to push the 
work. A town meeting was called on the third day of 
July, 1674, and a rate of sixteen shillings on the smallest 
lots, and twenty-four shillings on the middle lots, and 
thirty-two shillings on the largest lots, was laid, and 
ordered to be paid in the following manner : One-half 
of a third part in wheat and peas in equal proportion, 
and the remainder in Indian or other corn ; the wheat, 
if winter wheat, at five shillings per bushel ; summer 
wheat at five shillings eight pence ; peas at four shillings, 
and corn at three shillings and sixpence, to defray the 
expense of the mill, and in carrying on the work at and 
about the same, also about Mr. Street's house then being 

The great difficulty of procuring help to accomplish 
the work about the mill, induced the town at a meeting 
held August 26, 1674, to order and direct the committee 
to call out the inhabitants of the town to work at the 
mill. The committee found some difficulty in carrying 
out the above order ; therefore on the twentieth day of 
October, 1674, a further committee was appointed, con- 
sisting of Samuel Andrews, Thomas Curtis and Thomas 
Hall, to assist the former committee in prosecuting the 
work ; and if on call any should refuse to work at the 
mill, they should pay a fine of five shillings. As this 
vote was the last one passed by the town on the subject, 
it is supposed that the committee found no further diffi- 
culty in finishing the work about the mill. 


The mill having been completed, a meeting of the 
town was called, and held December 12, 1674, ordering 
the inhabitants to bring in their corn to the mill, that 
the same may be ground ; and that Wednesday and 
Thursday in each week be set apart for grinding at the 
mill. As no record can be found of the contract made 
with Lieut. Fowler respecting the mill or his interest 
therein, that part of its history must forever remain in 
obscurity. During the season following, the mill-dam 
was frequently damaged by the sudden rise of water in 
the stream, and frequent calls were made on the people 
to assist in making repairs. At a meeting of the town 
held September 23, 1675, an appropriation of forty shil- 
lings was made, and a committee appointed to cause the 
mill-dam to be kept in order. April 6, 1675, the town 
gave Lieutenant Fowler six acres of land upon the mill 
plain, on the south side of the path that leads to the mill, 
adjoining Wharton's brook. April 27, 1675, a further 
grant was made to Lieut. Fowler of sixty acres of land 
on the east side of Wharton's brook, east of the mill, 
and adjoining said brook. The selectmen were to lay it 
out according to their best judgment, and for convenience 
to the mill and people of the town. This grant is very 
nearly, if not exactly, that tract of land which was the 
farm of the late Michael Doolittle. 

On account of some difficulty between the town and 
Lieut. Fowler, in carrying out his contract made with 
the committee, he not being willing to confer further 
with them, sent his son John Fowler to act in his be- 
half. At a meeting of the town September 16, 1676, 
John Fowler appeared in behalf of his father, as his 
agent respecting all former contracts of his father about 
the mill. He engaged in his own name, and drew up 


and signed a contract with the town of Wallingford, 
upon condition the town granted the sixty acres of land 
as promised, situated as follows : 

" The north stake ten rods northward of the brook common- 
ly called Milking Yard brook as you go between Wallingford 
and Hartford in the Middle way between the mouth of said 
brook and the old path, and to run in a strait line south- 
ward, so as to cut the edges of the red bank by the east 
river, so called, at the utmost eastward. And so from the 
norther stake westward 120 rods, and so as to hold his depth 
on the south side paralell and the river southward till he 
have the full complement of sixty acres." 

What action the town took in relation to this matter 
does not appear ; but the following vote, passed March 
5, 1676, indicates the result : 

"Voted, in case Lieut. Fowler dissented from his former 
contract with the town about the mill, and it falls out that Jo. 
Lothrop prove to be the man that takes the matter in hand to 
procure the mill to be built anew, and kept in repair for the 
use of the town, the town will give him twenty pounds for his 
encouragement in the work." 

Nathaniel Royce was instructed in behalf of Jo. Loth- 
rop to call out men to work at the mill, every man accord- 
ing to his proportion until the thirty pounds were paid. 
Lieut. Fowler's management and the location of the 
mill were not satisfactory to the people of the town, and 
as he could not give further assurances, or would not 
fulfil his contract with them, the dam and race had been 
greatly damaged by the flood, and mill gearing often out 
of repair, causing much trouble and annoyance; and 
Mr. Fowler failing to perform his engagements, it was 
decided that the mill should be removed to a place that 


had been selected previously for that purpose at the 
first falls on the river, (now Yalesville). 

The old site of the first mill was on Wharton's brook 
a little south of the hill on which the village stands, and 
a little below the late residence of Joseph Doolittle. 
Traces of the old dam and race are now visible. Before 
entering upon the history of the First Falls mill, it may 
not be out of place to give some of the town's action 
relative to the old mill-site flowing ground, which being 
sequestered was rented from time to time for different 
purposes, and to different individuals. November 14, 
1679, the land where the mill stood was given to Mercy 
Moss. It is described as being on the west side of Long 
Hill, near the south end of Wharton's brook. March 13, 
1693, the townsmen were instructed to let the old mill- 
pond for seven years to John Doolittle, for two pounds 
and two shillings per year, current provision pay, he 
keeping the fences in good repair, and to leave them so. 
October 4, 1693, the old mill-pond was by a vote of the 
town sequestered, with all the land between the country 
road and the old pond place, the use of which was to be 
applied to the benefit of schools ; no part of which was 
to be disposed of or sold, without the consent of every 
individual planter. 

The site of the mill at the " First Falls" was examined 
at an early date and selected as a desirable place for a 
mill ; therefore it was decided at a meeting of the town 
on the fourth day of June, 1677, that the mill should be 
removed there, or to some other place more convenient 
if it could be found. Nothing further was done until 
the loth of September, 1677. Some three months after 
they had decided on the removal, the town voted to 
send for Jo. Lothrop to come and conclude an agree- 


ment with them about the mill. It appears that this 
vote was carried into immediate effect ; for on the 1 3th 
day of September, 1677, three days only intervening, 
the town voted that " if Jo. Lothrop go on with all speed 
and complete his mill which he had begun, leaving all 
future agreements between himself and the town for 
more suitable time, then the town grants him his thirty 
acres of land by the mill as he desired, as a part of his 
first division as a planter ; that is, he is to go five rods 
below the mill, forty rods above the mill, and so to run 
back southward until he gets his thirty acres." The 
town also gave him forty-four acres of land peculiar to 
his mill ; that is, four acres were added to his river lot of 
eight acres, making it twelve acres in all, and this to be 
situated as follows : "forty rods by the river, and running 
back eastward until he can find twelve acres at the falls 
which had been selected as a site for the mill ; also forty 
acres of upland to be in one piece, or two, as he may 
choose, provided he does not come within half a mile of 
the river commonly called New Haven east river, or 
within two miles of the town, or interfere with any 
former grants." The town also remitted his rates levied 
for the purpose of paying for the mill-dam and other work 
about the mill which belonged to the town to perform. 
The town also agreed " that the first thirty pounds and 
the last thirty pounds granted and to be levied for carry- 
ing on the work of the mill be now levied according to the 
three ranks of allotments ; that is to say the highest rank 
to pay twenty shillings, the middle rank fifteen shillings, 
and the lowest rank ten shillings ; this for the first thirty 
pounds, and also for the second rate levied. Sergeant 
Abraham Doolittle was chosen and authorised to call out 
as many of the town as he may need to work at the mill." 


By the action of the town it appears that Mr. Lothrop 
was ahead of the town in his work, and that the town 
were behind in theirs. It also appears that the town 
were to build the dam and race. October 30, 1677, the 
town ordered that one day's work more be added to each 
man in addition to what was previously levied. The 
town ordered, November 13, 1677, every planter to forth- 
with work one day each at the mill ; " and if any refuse, 
they are to be pressed ; and should any be behind in not 
paying their former dues, they are also to be pressed." 
Liberty was given to Sergeant Doolittle to take men 
from the dam work to help goodman Lothrop about his 
work proper to the mill, the said Lothrop paying the 
town for the same. 

Up to this time the work had been driven with energy 
both by the town and Mr. Lothrop, each performing their 
part to the full satisfaction of the other, when a cloud 
came over them in the destruction of their dam, which 
had cost them much labor and expense. It was carried 
away by the great pressure of the water from above. 
Notwithstanding this great calamity the people showed 
themselves to be men of nerve, and resolved to go ahead, 
and at once sent for goodman Miller, a man of experi- 
ence in such matters, to give advice as to the best way 
to proceed in repairing the mill-dam. Goodman Thorp 
was the messenger sent to Middletown for Mr. Miller, 
carrying a letter from the town of Wallingford desiring 
him to come and advise with them. What advice he 
gave does not appear. The matter rested until spring, 
when on the twenty-third day of April, 1678, the town 
decided to take away the sluice in the former dam be- 
fore building a new one ; and on the twenty-second of 
May the work of repairing the dam was ordered to be 


carried on forthwith. The training day for May was 
suspended, and each man was to work at the mill on 
that day. No doubt the work went on to completion, 
for we find no reference to the mill or mill-dam until 
May 23, 1679, when the miller was instructed to grind 
one day in each week, and that on Mondays. On the 
eighth day of September, 1679, a committee was chosen 
to look after the affairs of the mill, and it was ascertain- 
ed that the miller could not do the grinding necessary 
for the inhabitants in one day. It was therefore ordered 
September 29, that two days be set apart for that pur- 
pose, viz. : Mondays and Thursdays. 

Thus matters went on until Aug. 25, 1680, when the 
town gave the whole control of the mill into the hands 
of the committee who had been previously appointed to 
look out for the interest of the mill and its affairs gen- 
erally. The business affairs of the mill had by this time 
become of great annoyance and trouble between the town 
and the miller, and the town had become completely tired 
of the trouble arising from it ; and to allay further trouble 
passed the following order, November 8, 1680: "That 
the miller attend and perform his grinding Mondays and 
Thursdays, and continue grinding until his mill be 
cleared, if the water holds out ; and that every man has 
his turn whether he is there himself or sends one of his 
children or servants, according to agreement ; that is, if 
he brings his corn first, and is there present to desire it, 
or not, as soon as the hopper is clear ; and if no such 
case occurs then he shall have liberty to attend to the 
grinding of any one of the town who may bring his corn, 
and will wait until it is ground ; and that the miller does 
not grind away his water for strangers to the injury of 
the town's inhabitants." No doubt they anticipated that 


the passage of this order would be the means of giving 
satisfaction to the people of the town, but in this they 
were greatly mistaken; and we find, June 13, 1681, the 
town voting to give the whole control of the mill into 
the hands of the miller, provided that he would keep the 
same in repair and grind the town's corn as it ought to 
be. October 14, 1681, the town entered into a contract 
with John Lothrop, and were for a time partially relieved 
from the care and perplexity of the mill, and no more 
was heard about it until September 27, 1686, when it 
was found that it needed great repairs. 

A committee was chosen to fix upon a site for a mill 
on the river, and two days afterwards an order was 
passed ordering its removal. Thus it would appear that 
a site a little further down the stream would be better 
than the one originally selected, and there appears to be 
no doubt but that the mill was removed several rods 
down the stream ; and in order to make the location 
sure forever as a mill-site, the people of the town in 
town meeting assembled, October 3, 1687, agreed and 
voted that all the land about the mill and that on which 
it stands, and the river, shall be sequestered as town's 
commons, not any part thereof or parcel of the same 
ever to be sold or granted to any person or persons ex- 
cept by the consent of every individual planter belonging 
to the town. This land was bounded west by the 
entailed land, foreign to the mill, by the river and the 
highway on all the other parts (the mill being on the 
west side of the river) ; and as there was no means of 
crossing except by fording the river, the town at a meet- 
ing held December 27, 1687, ordered that a canoe be 
procured for the purpose of crossing the river to get to 
the mill from the east. 


The work of removing and repairing the mill having 
been accomplished, the town, at a meeting held January 
21, 1689, passed an order directing how the affairs rela- 
tive to grinding were to be performed at the mill, and thus 
assumed the entire control of its affairs. December 17, 
1694, the people having become dissatisfied with crossing 
the river in a canoe, resolved to build a bridge, so that 
persons could get to the mill horseback. This was a great 
improvement over the old plan of crossing the river in a 
canoe. January 22, 1695, a tax of one-half penny was 
levied to defray the expense of the bridge at the mill. 
The bridge was no doubt built almost exactly where the 
bridge now is, just east of Parker's factory, and on the 
old road leading to Wallingford. At this meeting Samuel 
Lothrop, a son of John Lothrop, was appointed to take 
charge of the mill for two months, on condition that he per- 
formed his work well, and ground every man's corn well ; 
but he was given to understand that he could not stay 
in the mill if he failed to perform his work in a satisfac- 
tory manner. He appears to have given satisfaction, as 
he continued in charge of the mill until 1697, when 
Thomas Hall was chosen miller. December 31, 1700, 
it was ordered that the miller devote four days to grind- 
ing in each week in the winter, viz., December, January 
and February, and three days in each week for the 
remainder of the year. 

On or about the ninth day of March, 1704, John 
Lothrop's heirs sold to Tyler and Stanley all of their 
interest in the mill, and in 1707 William Tyler made a 
contract with the town concerning it. From this time 
the town seems to have surrendered all control over the 
mill and miller, the mill having passed into the hands of 
Wm. Tyler, who had purchased the interest of Mr. Stan- 


ley. The mill and all of the privileges connected with 
it remained in the Tyler family nearly a hundred years, 
until the decease of the late Samuel Tyler, who left it to 
one of his daughters, and it was sold by her guardian, 
Nehemiah Rice, to the late Charles Yale, who made ex- 
tensive repairs and alterations, and changed the name of 
Tyler's mills to Yalesville. The old buildings were de- 
stroyed by fire a few years ago. 




SLAVERY had existed in Connecticut, though to a very 
limited extent, from an early period. There were a 
number of slaves in Wallingford and Meriden who 
labored on farms and in families. These slaves were 
some of them brought directly from Africa, or quite as 
often from the West Indies, with which a brisk com- 
merce was carried on by the people of Connecticut, 
they often sending for a likely young negro and paying 
for him with the productions of their farms. In 1680 
thirty slaves were brought from Barbadoes and sold at 
an average price of 22 each. In a letter on the 5th 
of July, 1773, his Majesty's secretary inquired of the 
Governor of Connecticut as to the population of the 
colony. The answer of the Governor in 1774 was that 
the number of whites was 191,372, and the number of 
blacks 6,464. Nearly all the blacks were slaves. At 
an early period some Indians or Indian families who had 
become by treachery or crime peculiarly obnoxious, were 
sold as slaves. In 1646 we are told that " an Indian 
woman fled from her master" to the Dutch. 1 We find 

in the Connecticut Gazette for January 5, 1764, the fol- 

_____ % 

I This took place at Hartford, near which, at a place still called " Dutch 
Point," the Dutch had then a small fort and garrison. 


lowing advertisement: "Just imported from Dublin, in 
the brig Darby, a parcel of Irish servants both Men and 
Women, and to be sold cheap, by Israel Boardman, at 

Joseph De Mink, a freeman, born in Bravo, one of 
the Cape Verd Islands, with the consent of his father 
went to Buena Vista, March, 1755 ; and being desirous 
of returning home met with Captain Phineas Cook 
of Wallingford who promised to take him to Bravo,' 
but passed by that Island to the West Indies, brought 
him to Wallingford, and delivered him to David Cook, 
his father, who sold him as a slave to Noah Wadhams of 
Goshen, for 52 los. Wadhams being satisfied that he 
was a negro and a freeman, brought action against Cook, 
who compounded with him, and Joseph was returned. 
He feared Cook might again dispose of him, and pe- 
titioned the General Assembly for relief. A number of 
witnesses were brought forward, including David Bates, 
Moses Ventres, Titus Tuttle, Gad Wells, Levi Comstock, 
Street Hall and others, who testified that Joe was a 
thievish, lazy fellow, and it was not safe to turn him loose 
on the community. The Assembly appointed Thomas 
Seymour as his guardian, and declared Joseph a free 
subject of the king of Portugal, and ordered Captain Cook 
to pay him ^15 damages and ^15 costs into the treas- 
ury, and ordered Mr. Seymour to take care of Joe and 
obtain for him a passage home. 

Samuel Tyler of Wallingford, had a negro girl, Nellie, 
aged nine years, who was entitled to freedom at eighteen 
years of age, her mother being a free Indian. Tyler 
claimed her for life, and brought action before the county 
Court, April, 1746, and before the Suprerior Court, Feb- 
ruary, 1748, and judgment was rendered against him. 


One of the first slaves in Wallingford was Caesar, the 
property of the late Samuel Cook, whose father and 
grandfather had each in succession been his owner, from 
his infancy. He died about the year 1820 at the age of 
eighty-two years. Colonel Edward Barker, Elihu Hall 
and others were owners of slaves. At an earlier date 
Isaac Brockett owned a negro boy by the name of 
Esau. Cato was the name of Col. Barker's negro. He 
ranked high as a fiddler in the community, and was 
generally called upon to furnish the music for balls on 
the nights preceding the annual thanksgiving, and other 
occasions when dancing was expected. By an old 
colonial law white men were sometimes sold into slavery 
for intemperance, theft, idleness, etc. Simon Smith and 
Daniel Clark were frequently sold to Samuel Cook, for 
a small annual payment to the town. By an early 
statute of the colony, all single persons who lived in 
idleness, might be bound out to service. 

Immediately after the Revolution, a statute was made 
declaring that no negro or mulatto child born in this 
State after March i, 1784, should be held to servitude 
after he or she. should arrive at the age of twenty-five 
years. By this statute any negro, mulatto, or Indian 
servant found wandering beyond the bounds of the 
town to which he belonged, without a pass from a jus- 
tice of the peace or his master, might be arrested by 
any one as a runaway. If a slave was caught out at 
night, after nine o'clock, without an order from his 
master, any person might apprehend and bring him 
before a justice of the peace, who might sentence him 
to be publicly whipped on the naked body. In 1848 
the Legislature enacted for the first time that no person 
should be held in slavery in this State. 


When slaves were married it was done only with the 
consent of their masters, just as children in their minori- 
ty were married with the consent of their parents. This 
consent was carefully recorded by the minister who 
married them. They were indeed considered as mem- 
bers of the family and baptized as such on the plan of 
" household baptism." For we meet with entries on the 
church records like the following: 

"March i, 1741, baptized London, servant of John Webb." 
"Sep. 12, 1742, baptized Primus, servant of Lazarus Ives." 
"Sep. 6, 1747, baptized Champe, a negro of Lazarus Ives." 
"April 24, 1748, baptized negro child of John Merriam." 

About twenty of these baptisms are recorded within a 
period of forty years. The deaths among the slaves 
were also recorded no less carefully than the decease of 
the whites, though in somewhat less respectful terms. 
Thus in the register of burials for 1736, is this entry: 

"Aaron Lyman's negro." "Nov. 15, 1737, Theo. Mix's 
negro man." "Feb. 25, 1745, a negro man of Serg't. 
Jerom." " Feb. 28, 1748, Serg't. Jerom's negro child." 

Even the reverend man who officiated at funerals 
met with losses of the same nature, for I find this entry: 
"June 8, 1758, my negro child, Gin." The following are 
copies of two from among a number of legal instruments 
of sale, which are regularly signed, sealed and witnessed 
by the parties respectively, like deeds of land. The 
names of the contracting parties are omitted. 

" Know all men by these presents that I of Meriden, 

Widow, for the consideration of thirteen pounds Lawful 

money, already received of of s'd Meriden, do sell and 

make over unto the s'd his Heirs and assigns forever, 

all my Right and title to and Interest in the Negro Girl 
named time, that was the Estate of the s'd deceased, and that 


was let out to me for the settlement of s'd estate, and do 
hereby promise to warrant the same against all claims what- 
soever. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand 
and Seal this Second, day of May, Anno Domini, 1760. 

T c 

t j kj* 

" Signed, Sealed and Delivered in presence of 

" Know all men by these presents, that I , of 

Wallingford, the County of New Haven, and colony of Con- 
necticut in New england, Have Sold and Delivered unto 

, of s'd Wallingford, one negro man called by the name 

of Steep, about eighteen years old who is in perfect health 
acording to the best of my knowliclg, for which negro I have 

Received of s'd , the sum of one hundred and 

eighty pounds, old tenor, 1 to my full satisfaction and do 
promise to warrant and defend the sale of the above s'd 
negro, dureing the term of his natureall life against all the 
lawfull claims of any person whatsoever, in witness whereof, 
I have set my hand and seal, this first day of March, A. D. 
1743. L. S. 

" Signed, Sealed and Delivered in presence of 

" Middletown, July 8, 1760. 

" Received of Abel Curtis (of Meriden) Forty Pounds, In 
full of a Negro Boy Called Ben, about nine years old which 
S d negro Boy I Promis to warrant and Defend against all 
Lawful Claims & demands of any Person whatsoever as wit- 
ness my hand. GEO. PHILLIPS." 

At a town meeting held in Wallingford, April 7, 1 766, 

I This " old tenor " money consisted of bills of credit issued by the 
State in the terrible embarassments and debts consequent on the English, 
French and Spanish wars ; which wars always involved the colonies in 
great danger and expense. These bills at one time became so depreciated 
that they were received as ten for one, and even twenty for one. 


"Voted, with regard to the poor of the town, that the 
selectmen of said town, shall meet at the dwelling house of 
Mr. Philemon Johnson, in said town on the third Monday of 
instant April, at two of the clock in the afternoon, and there 
expose them to Public Vendue to be supported by those that 
will do it the cheapest by the week, month, or year, for said 
town, and also to dispose of those under their care that are 
able to do some service for their support in the same manner." 

Chatham Freeman was a slave of Mr. Noah Yale. 
One of Mr. Yale's sons was drafted, and Mr. Yale 
offered Chatham his freedom if he would go as a sub- 
stitute and serve seven years. Chatham served seven 
years, then returned home and received his freedom. 
Mr. Yale had a female slave named Rhea, whom Chat- 
ham desired to marry. Mr. Ya]e told Chatham that if 
he would work for him seven years he would give the 
girl her freedom and that he might marry her. Chatham 
agreed to the proposition ; served seven years and re- 
ceived his reward. A descendant of this sable couple 
is now living in the eastern part of the town. Another 
descendant, Robert Prim, will be remembered by our old 
inhabitants, as Robert and his violin were indispensable 
requisites at every party or merry-making. 


Vaccination was introduced into this country by Dr. 
Waterhouse of Boston, who first vaccinated his son. 
The introduction of varilous inoculation by the influ- 
ence and patronage of Cotton Mather, was a subject of 
much speculation. The clergy were defenders of inocu- 
lation. The conduct of the medical faculty, who exerted 
their whole force to annihilate it, was "violent and out- 
rageous." A sermon against the dangerous and sinful 
practice of inoculation, preached in London, in July, 1722, 


by Edward Massey, was reprinted in Boston. Zabdiel 
Boylston was one of the earliest inoculators for small 
pox in this country. His experiments commenced with 
his son, in 1720, and in a year extended the disease to 
two hundred and forty-seven persons, of whom but six 
died. In Wallingford, on the 3ist of March, 1777, 
it was 

" Voted that no Person belonging to any other Town shall 
be admitted to Come into this Town to Innoculate with the 
Small Pox." "Voted that no person Shall hereafter be allowed 
to Innoculate in this Town with the Small Pox." "Voted 
that the Informing officers Enter Complaint against the 
Leaders of Innoculation in this Town with the Small Pox." 
"Voted that no Person who have been Infected with the 
Small Pox in this Town shall be allowed to Go abroad 
amongst People untill they have been out and Cleaned up 
a fortnight on Penalty of the Law." "Voted that any Person 
Belonging to any other "Town presuming to Come into this 
Town to Innoculate with the Small Pox Shall Suffer the 
Penalty of the Law." 1 

At a Town Meeting held at Wallingford December 18, 
1792, the petition of "William B. Hall, physician and 
surgeon," was presented, 

" Praying liberty to erect an hospital on his Fathers farm 
quite remote from the publick road or dwelling house, for 
the purpose of innoculation for the small pox, or to innocu- 
late at any other place which they should think most proper, 
under the immediate inspection and direction of the Civil 
Authority and selectmen of said Town, on Condition said 
Hall be under bonds to pay all expences that the Town or 
any of its Inhabitants may be put to in case the infection 
should spread thro his Carelessness or neglect, and in every 

I Wallingford Records, Book I. p. 15. State Records, Liber D, Folio 


such case to pay into the Town Treay Forty shillings or any 
other sum that should be desired." 

This petition was granted by the town. In 1793 
Aaron Andrews, Ensign Hough, and Bilious Kirtland, 
"all of said Wallingford, physicians, and surgeons," re- 
quested permission to inoculate in such house or houses 
as should be judged safe, convenient and proper. Their 
petition was granted. In 1801 Dr. Ensign Hough and 
Dr. Wm. B. Hall wished to test thekine pox vaccination, 
and having obtained the house now occupied by Mr. Ira 
Preston in the eastern part of the town to be used as a 
pest-house, prevailed upon Mr. Samuel Paddock of Meri- 
den and Mr. Bradley of Middletown to become the first 
patients. Dr. Hough attended the patients one day, and 
Dr. Hall the next. Messrs Paddock and Bradley were 
each vaccinated three times, and remained sick at the 
pest-house for over three weeks. 




VIRGIL, as he commenced his world-renowned epic, 
could hardly have announced a grander subject than 
when he wrote, " Anna virumque cano." Man and his 
weapons of warfare, inseparable in their close connec- 
tion, in their mutual interdependence, how much have 
they together accomplished ! We can scarcely separate 
one from the other. 

The fathers of our country were early conversant with 
a state of things widely different from what now exists. 
Driven by religious oppression to seek an asylum on 
this side the ocean, they came in successive feeble bands, 
and planted themselves on a sod, until then, untrodden 
by the foot of civilized man. They were far from the 
influence of despotism, and no servile band could there 
burst in on their Sabbath-day ministrations, tear their 
pastor from the sacred desk and immure him within the 
walls of a prison. But we see them seated with their 
weapons by their side ready at any moment to repel the 
attacks of the ferocious Indians, who were exasperated 
by the alleged encroachments on their rights. Scarcely 
had the first log cabin been built by the pioneers, when 
the Indians, forecasting the growth and fruitfulness of 
resources incident to the English race, began to devise 


means for their destruction. While the Indians ap- 
peared friendly to the new settlers, they stole their cattle, 
they shot arrows from their secret lurking places, at the 
farmer when he went into his field in the morning, or 
murdered his wife and children when they were left 
unprotected at home. 

At the time Wallingford was settled it was thought 
that Philip, chief sachem of the Wampanoags, was using 
all his address to incite a general insurrection of the 
Indians for the purpose of exterminating the English. 
Philip was a sachem whose proud spirit of independence, 
whose heroism and whose misfortunes, have rendered 
him the most famous of all the New England aborigines. 
Philip formed no general league, no great conspiracy 
against the English ; but he was smarting from humilia- 
tions inflicted upon himself and his brother ; and, like 
most of his race, he looked with anger and dismay upon 
the steady progress of the foreigners in spreading over 
and occupying the country. 1 The inhabitants of the 
newly formed settlement of Wallingford were greatly 
troubled at the warlike rumors which reached them every 
day, and 

.... " Short of succor, and in deep despair, 
Shook at the dismal prospect of the war." 2 

Houses were fortified, sentinels were appointed, and 
on the Sabbath in the little log building without chimney 
or steeple, while the voice of Mr. Street is engaged in 
solemn thanks to God for his mercy and faithfulness in 
bringing them to their land of promise, the armed sen- 
tinels pace backwards and forwards in the narrow space 

1 DeForest's Hist, of the Indians of Conn., p. 279. 

2 Multaque dura suo tristi cum corda putabant. Virgil's ^Eneid, vm. 522. 


which they call a street. Every man has a loaded mus- 
ket by his side, and powder-horn and shot-bag slung 
around his neck ; for the savages may burst like thunder 
on their homes and let loose the tomahawk and scalping- 
knife on their families at any moment. 

In 1673 the General Court ordered "That five hundred 
dragoons be forthwith raysed, to be ready upon one 
howers warning to defend any place in this colony, as- 
saulted by an enemie." The proportion for Wallingford 
was eight. The war broke out in the summer of 1675, 
just about a century before the commencement of our 
own struggle for independence, and continued with unin- 
terrupted fury until the autumn of 1676. Connecticut 
entered with spirit into the struggle. Her sons left their 
husbandry and followed Treat and Talcott to the scene 
of danger. It was a fierce and bloody war, in which 
both parties aimed at extermination. The war on the 
part of the Indians was a war for freedom and existence, 
and when that was no longer possible it became a war 
for revenge. August 27, 1675, Mr. Street's and Lieut. 
Merriman's houses were ordered to be fortified. At the 
same time, 

" In respect to the present doings of y e Indians itt was 
ordered that the inhabitants secure themselves and the prin- 
cipall of theyr goods by fortifiing about too houses. Also 
that eveure man bring his armes and amunition compleat on 
the Saboth day that he may be able in a fitt posture to doe 
service if need Require." "That selectmen gaurd as sentinells 
on y e Saboth, and y e rest of tfe town ward 4 men every 
Saboth and 2 every weeke day ; that they begin to ward when 
the watch breaks up and hould on till y e watch be sett again ; 
that they begin and end, at the dawning and shutting in of 
the day." "October 15, 1675, Ordered that those persons at 
the end of the town if they see cause to fortifie any of theyr 


houses which they can agree upon for theyr saftie in these 
times of dainger what theyr full charg is shall be defraied out 
of y 6 town's treasurey. Also that any that are willing to be 
asistant to make too flankers att Lef 1 Merriman's barne shall 
have due recompens out of y e towne treasurie." 

Their mode of " fortyfiing a house" was as follows : 
At a short distance from the house, ten feet perhaps, 
and all around it a log wall was erected, with the ends 
of the logs dove-tailed into each other at the corners, 
and carried up to ten or twelve feet in height, with such 
openings as might suffice for pointing muskets at an 
attacking enemy. The " Seymour fort," which stood in 
Christian Lane just back and south of the residence of 
the late Mr John Goodrich of Berlin, was made of pali- 
sades sixteen feet long, sharp at the top, and firmly set 
in the ground near together. 1 Such erections were 
ample protection against any strength which the Indians 
were able to exert. Though no battle was fought near 
them, yet the inhabitants were kept in a constant state of 
alarm which greatly hindered their agricultural operations, 
and were compelled to fortify and garrison their little 
village as if actually in a state of siege. 

In fact every settlement within the bounds of Con- 
necticut was mercifully preserved from the presence of 
the enemy. No village was swept away by the storm of 
war. . No rural sanctuary was laid in ruins. No laborer 
shot by the ambushed savage, fell in the furrow. No 

i Within this fort the settlers repaired at nightfall for safety against the 
Indians and for quiet rest. The well at which they quenched their thirst 
still furnishes the best water. The fort was built about 1686. Thomas 
North, ancestor of the North families of New Britain, the Seymours and 
Gilberts clustered about the fort. Dr. Joseph Steele, the Standleys, Rootes, 
Harts, Nortons, Cowles, Nehemiah Porter, Joseph Lankton, Newel, Grid- 
ley, Bronsons and others were located south of the fort. 


father returning to his house, found all desolate the cal- 
cined bones of his children mingled with the ashes of 
his dwelling. No mother torn from her sick bed, saw 
her babe dashed in pieces against her own hearth-stone. 
Such things there were in other parts of New England, 
but they were not in Connecticut. Yet here were alarms 
and watchings ; here were levies of soldiers ; here every 
store-house, every dwelling yielded its supplies to feed 
the army ; here was that sad sight the young, the brave, 
the hope of gray-haired sires, the strength and pride of 
the plantation, marching away from the homes that looked 
to them for protection. Here were dreadful tidings from 
the camp and the battle. 1 Although there were no bat- 
tles fought in Connecticut, yet five men at least, within 
her limits, were sacrificed by sudden shot from a lurking 
foe. 2 

April 28, 1674, eight persons were chosen in Walling- 
ford as a guard for the Sabbath. In 1681 forts were 
ordered to be erected in the town, and in 1690 a fort was 
built around the meeting-house. The arms of private 
soldiers were pikes, muskets and swords. The muskets 
had matchlocks or firelocks, and to each one there was 
" a pair of bandoleers or pouches for powder and bullets," 
and a stick called a rest, for use in taking aim. The 
pikes were ten feet in length, besides the spear at the 
end. " Ten foot in length, at least, is the wood." A 
train-band consisted of not fewer than sixty-four men, 

1 Bacon's Hist. Dis., p. 162. 

2 Josiah Rockwell and John Reynolds of Norwich were slain January 
28, 1675-6, on the east side of Shetucket river, which they had crossed for 
the purpose of spreading flax. John Kirby of Middletown, was slain be- 
tween Middletown and Wethersfield. Edward Elmore or Elmer, was 
slain in East Windsor. Henry Denslow slain in Windsor. William Hill 
of East Hartford, wounded but not killed. These were all in 1676. 


and not more than two hundred. It was constituted of 
twice as many musketeers as pikemen ; the latter being 
selected for their superior stature. The officers of a 
band were a Captain, Lieutenant, an Ensign and four 

Wallingford furnished her quota of troops for the 
French and Indian wars of 1690, and again in 1694 for 
the defense of Albany. The whole amount of taxes 
paid by Wallingford in common with other towns for 
the defense of New York and Massachusetts, amounted 
to the enormous burden of about twenty pence on the 
pound ; so that at the close of the year 1695 the colony 
had drawn from the pockets of the people and paid out 
seven thousand pounds. We cannot but admire the 
self-sacrificing spirit of the citizens, especially when we 
remember that they submitted to this heavy drain from 
their resources from the most magnanimous and un- 
selfish motives that ever actuated a people. 1 

In 1691, there was great difficulty and disturbance in 
Wallingford in regard to the choice of military officers ; 
and there being but little majority in the choice, and 
dissatisfaction growing out of the same, it was carried 
to the General Court, who could 

" See good reason not to confirm the choys, and order that 
L nt Merriman and Ensign Yale shall continue to be the com- 
ission officers of the traine band of Wallingford as formerly, 
untill this Court shall order otherwise, or the Governor." 

This did not seem to settle the difficulty, for in Octo- 
ber, 1691, we find that, 

" Whereas the good people of Wallingford, by reason of 
some variaty of apprehensions that hath fallen out between 

I In 1684, there were sixty-one taxable persons in Wallingford. Amount 
of tax, ,2,967. 


them, sit uneasy, and their seams to be a breach made of 
their peace, and differences seem to be increasing among 
them ; for the issue of all matters and controversies between 
them that are not for the present stated and determined by 
this court already, this court doe nominate and appoynt L nt 
Col. Allyn, Capt. Sam. Talcott, M r W m Pitkin, and the Rev. 
M r Sam 11 Hooker, and M r Perrpoynt, they or any two or three 
of them, to be a comittee in behalfe of this court to hear and 
determine all maters of controversie that have arisen between 
the good people of Wallingford since their looking towards of 
military officers, and the good people of Wallingford to 
aquiesse so far as to be peaceable under the same." 

In 1692, it was ordered that Lieut. Nath. Merriman 
and Ensign Thomas Yale should have the rule and 
command of the train-band, until the court should order 
otherwise. In October of the same year, 

"This court having heard and considered the matter of 
Wallingford in respect of their military officers, doe declare 
that they cannot see reason to confirm the former choyse of 
military officers formerly, but do order and appoynt L nt Col. 
John Allyn and capt. Stanly in som convenient time to 
appoynt a meeting of the trayne souldiers in Wallingford, 
and to lead them to an orderly choyse of a captain, lieuten- 
ant, and ensign, and sarg ts , and they are to receive blanck 
commissions from the Gov r , and upon the choys, if they ap- 
prove of the said choys, they are to deliver such as shall be 
chosen commissions, impowering of them to take the charge 
of the trayne band of Wallingford under their care and dis- 
cipline according to law." 

Whether this settled the matter, history or tradition 
showeth not. In 1704 Lieutenant Samuel Hall was 
appointed Captain of the train-band, Sergt. John Merri- 
man Lieutenant, and Sergt. Thomas Curtis, Ensign, 
"and all the said officers are to be commissionated 
respectively." In October, 1698, the General Court 


granted to Sergt. John Merriman of Wallingford, fifty 
acres of land, in consideration of his father's service in 
the Pequot war, to be taken up where it would not 
prejudice any former grant. At the same time fifty 
acres of land were granted to Thomas Hall of Walling- 
ford, in consideration of his father's service in the Pequot 
war. Captain Thomas Yale, and Sergeant John Merri- 
man were appointed to lay out these grants. In 1709, 
the proportion of troops for Wallingford was twelve. 


The origin of the Revolutionary War was to be traced 
to the imperial instincts of England. The colonies 
wished for their freedom ; the mother-country was not 
sufficiently disinterested to grant it ; the colonies de- 
clared their independence, and the English people felt 
insulted, and determined to put the rebels down. But' 
the capacity to do so did not wait on the inclination, 
and the English found a vigorous resistance from a 
people of their own race, whose habits, political tra- 
ditions and moral courage were kindred to their own. 
The ideas of Lord Chatham towards the colonies were 
those of a great, but splendid tyrant, who thought more 
of the power of England than of the happiness of 
America. Only one man, Edmund Burke, regarded 
the whole contest with a philosophic mind. But he 
had no social influence or personal authority correspond- 
ing with his genius and ambition. The people through 
the whole contest were uncertain and capricious, neither 
ready to part with their ambition and the colonies, nor 
desirous of the expenditure of wealth requisite for 
carrying on an internecine contest with the descendants 
of the outcast Puritans. 


The American Colonies were inhabited by an earnest 
yet philanthropic people. They had sprung from the 
blood of the better order of England, and their culture 
had eminently fitted them to think before they ventured 
to act. Historians have loved to eulogize the manners 
and virtues, the glories and benefits of chivalry. But 
what have the Puritans and their descendants accom- 
plished? If they had the sectarian crime of intolerance, 
chivalry had the vices of dissoluteness. The knights 
were brave from gallantry of spirit ; the Puritans from 
the fear of God. The knights were proud of loyalty ; 
the Puritans of liberty. The knights did homage to 
monarchs in whose smile they beheld honor, whose 
rebuke was the wound of disgrace ; the Puritans, dis- 
daining ceremony, would not bow at the name of Jesus, 
nor bend the knee to the King of Kings. 1 

On the 22d of September, 1763, three men high in 
power, held an interview in a dingy chamber in London, 
and there sketched the outline of a plot that was to rob 
the British Empire of half its glory, and deluge a con- 
tinent in blood. The result of the meeting was, " to 
write to the commissioners of the stamp duties to pre- 
pare the draft of a bill to be presented to the parliament, 
for extending the stamp duties in the colonies" This act 
required that all paper and parchment used in the 
transaction of business, should be stamped, for which a 
duty should be paid ; and all writing on unstamped 
materials was declared null and void. When the news 
of the passage of this act reached Boston, there were 
visible everywhere tokens of astonishment and appre- 
hension. When the news reached Hartford, the General 

I Bancroft's History, i. 468. 


Assembly appointed a committee to assist Governor 
Fitch in preparing a protest. Such was the exhibition 
of popular feeling against it, that the law was repealed 
in March, 1766. At a town meeting held in Wallingford, 
January, 1776, it was voted, that 

"Whereas it appears from antient Records and other 
Memorials of Incontestable Validity, that our Ancestors 
with a great Sum Purchased said Township, at their only 
Expence Planted, with great Peril possessed, and Defended 
the Same, we are Born free (having never been in bondage 
to any) an Inheritance of Inestimable Value. Voted and 
Agreed that if any of said Inhabitants, shall Introduce Use 
or Improve any Stampt Vellum Parchment or paper, for 
which tax or Tribute is or may be Demandable, such Person 
or Persons shall Incurr the Penaltie of 2os to be recovered 
by the Select Men of said Town for the Time being for the 
Use of the Poor of said Town." 

The following petition was sent by the first society, 
to " the Inhabitants of the Society of Wells assembled 
in Society Meeting, Dec. ist, Tuesday, A. D. 1766:" 

" Gent" : The General Assembly of this Colony have set 
a very Laudable Example in Disavowing the authority of 
the Parliment of Great Brittain in regard to the Late Ameri- 
can Stamp Act, because in their private Judgment the same 
was inconsistant with the true principals of the freedom of 
the English Constitution. A Noble Spirit of LIBERTY was 
roused in this and all the Colonies through this Extended 
Continent and they made a Bold Stand for their Liberty. 
When Reasoned humble Petitions decent Remonstrances, 
prevailed not with the British Parliment, America as well 
as this Colony like bold and brave Sons of persecuted 
Puritans, Resisted, and the great and renounded Right 
Honorable Comoner M r Pitt, declared in a British Senate 
speaking of the Stamp Act and of the Americans, ' I rejoice 
that they have resisted.' " 


The repeal of the Stamp Act was followed by other 
oppressive statutes of a kindred sort ; but the most 
prominent and immediate cause of the war was undoubt- 
edly the Boston Port Bill. This act of the British 
Parliament to destroy the trade of Boston, excited uni- 
versal sympathy throughout the colonies. Numerous 
town meetings were held, speeches were made, and 
resolutions were passed, many of which found their way 
to England and caused the ears of the British ministry 
to tingle, and their cheeks to redden with anger. 
Almost every town sent donations to Boston for the 
relief of the poor of that place. At a town meeting 
held at Wallingford in November, 1774, 

"In consideration of the sufferings of the people of Boston 
in the Common Cause of Liberty, a committee were 
appointed to collect subscriptions for their relief, and it was 
voted that the Committee send to the selectmen of the town 
of Boston such donations as shall be received by them, to be 
disposed of at the discretion of said selectmen of the town of 
Boston for the benefit of the indigent sufferers by the Port 

In October, 1774, the General Assembly met at New 
Haven, and a law was enacted to raise one-fourth of the 
militia for the special defense of the colony, formed 
into companies of one hundred men each, and into six 
regiments. The companies from Wallingford were com- 
manded by Captains Isaac Cook and John Couch. In 
May, 1775, Wallingford received by order of the General 
Assembly, .146 14^. lod. for the services and expenses 
of the men of that town in the Lexington alarm in 
April. In 1776, Wallingford, in connection with 
Waterbury, Cheshire and Durham, formed the loth regi- 
ment. On the I4th of June, 1776, Governor Trumbull 


convoked by his special order a General Assembly of 
" the Governor and company of the English Colony of 
Connecticut, in New England, in America." Samuel 
Beach and Captain Thaddeus Cook were the Represen- 
tatives from Wallingford. At this Assembly it was 

" Resolved unanimously, that the delegates of this colony in 
General Congress, be and they are hearby instructed to pro- 
pose to that respectable body to declare the United American 
Colonies Free and Independent States, absolved from all 
allegiance to the King of Great Britain, and to give the 
assent of this colony to such declarations." 

While the members of the Assembly were without a 
dissenting vote promulgating these sentiments to the 
world, the committee of Congress, composed of Thomas 
Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sher- 
man and Robert R. Livingston, were engaged in prepar- 
ing the form of the Declaration of Independence, to 
which, on the 4th of July, was affixed the signature of 
Lyman Hall, a native of Wallingford, who was chosen a 
member of the Continental Congress in May, 1775, from 
Georgia, of which state he was elected Governor in 1783. 
This was the first solemn declaration by a nation of the 
only legitimate foundation of civil government. In the 
eloquent words of Adams, "it was the corner-stone of a 
new fabric, destined to cover the surface of the globe. 
It demolished at a stroke, the lawfulness of all govern- 
ments founded upon conquest. It swept away all the 
rubbish of accumulated centuries of servitude. It an- 
nounced in practical form to the world, the transcendent 
truth of the inalienable sovereignty of the people." Had 
we remained subject to England, the American colonies 
would have been without doubt what we see to-day in the 
Australian colonies a great country without greatness ; 


living a reflex life and not an original one ; without art, 
without literature, without originality, an instrument of 
civilization still material and gross. But after all 
England is dear to us. There are the graves of the 
ancestors of our Carvers, our Brewsters, our Hancocks, 
and our Adamses ; of our Henrys, and our Pinckneys ; 
of Washington. Its language is ours. Its religion is 
ours. Its history is ours. We delight to think that 
Milton, and Cowper, and Shakspeare, and Newton, and 
Bacon are no more theirs than ours. 

In January, 1777, it was voted that the selectmen of 
Wallingford provide tents according to the act of the 
General Assembly requiring said town to provide tents. 
A tax of two pence on the pound was levied for that 
purpose. It was also voted that the selectmen provide 
all articles necessary for the comfort of the army in 
accordance with the act of the General Assembly. A 
two pence tax was laid to cover such expenses. March 
31, 1777, it was voted that the town would give a bounty 
to those engaged in the continental service. Also 

"That Each Soldier that Engage in the Continental Service 
for the Quota of Wallingford Shall be paid by the Town the 
Sum of five pounds Lawful money by the year for three 
years unless Sooner Discharged, to be paid the Beginning of 
Each year. Voted fourpence halfpenny on the pound for the 
aforesaid Purpose." " December 16, 1777, Voted a tax of 
three-pence on the pound for the Benefit of the Soldiers and 
their Familys that are now in the Continental army." 

In September, 1777, Wallingford was appointed a 
place of rendezvous for the second brigade. The same 
year it was voted, 

" That the Families of all those who are Convicted of 


Torieism or Inimical to the States of America and the heads 
of all the Familys that have absconded to Lord How, they 
and their Family shall be removed to Lord How." "Voted 
that the Select-men of said Town Secure the Estates of all 
those Persons that are Inimical to the States of America." 

At the General Assembly held at Hartford August 13, 
1777, James Benham of Wallingford stated that by the 
influence of designing men he was induced to go to 
Long Island, and was there induced, partly by threats 
and partly by necessity, to enter the service of the 
enemy, until the proclamation offering pardon to such as 
should leave the British service and return to Connecti- 
cut was issued ; but by sickness was detained after the 
ist day of August, 1777 (the time limited in said procla- 
mation); that he escaped on the 7th day of August 
1777, and returned home with the determination of be- 
coming a good subject of the State. The Assembly 
pardoned him, on condition of his taking the oath of 
fidelity, and discharged him from imprisonment, upon 
his paying the cost of apprehending and confining him, 
to the time of his discharge. 

Governor Franklin of New Jersey (son of Dr. Frank- 
lin), was brought to Connecticut in 1776 (taken by a 
convention of his province, as a virulent enemy of the 
colonies), to be confined there in such manner and place 
as Congress should direct. Governor Trumbull having 
taken his parole informed him that he might go to Wall- 
ingford ; after remaining there a few months he was 
permitted to go to Middletown. While in Middletown 
he wrote several letters to Governor Trumbull, more 
sharp than respectful, and he was finally confined with- 
out pen, ink or paper, and sent under guard to the 
Litrhfield jail. In 1777, Ralph Isaacs of Durham was 


supposed to be inimical to the State, and it being con- 
sidered dangerous to the American cause to suffer him 
to be at large in Durham, he was arrested, and by order 
of the Governor and Council, sent to Wallingford to be 
under the civil authority and selectmen, and kept in one 
of the societies of that town. Abiathar Camp, who was 
a noted Tory, resided in New Haven, but also had a 
house in Wallingford. He was arrested at New Haven 
by order of the Assembly, but was permitted to remove 
to his home in Wallingford. But it seems that he did 
not conduct himself in a manner agreeable with the feel- 
ings of the inhabitants of the town, for we find that they 

" Voted that Abiather Camp formerly of New Haven now 
being in the town of Wallingford, Shall not Dwell in said 
Town nor be an Inhabitant of Said Town." "Voted that the 
Selectmen of said Town Go and Warn said Camp Abiather 
Immediately to Depart said Town." 

Mr. Camp went to Eastbury and shortly after applied 
to the Assembly by petition, in which he stated that he 
was a professor and member of the Church of England ; 
and asked to be indulged in a free exercise of his religion 
in attending religious worship at Middletown on Sab- 
bath-days, &c., which was the nearest church of England 
to Eastbury. The petition was negatived. Feb. 11, 
1 777> Col. Hall of Wallingford appeared before the Gov- 
ernor and Council for directions concerning the tories at 
Wallingford. At a town meeting held at Wallingford 
January 14, 1778, a committee of nine persons 1 were 
chosen to consult the articles of Confederation proposed 
by Congress, and make a report at an adjourned meet- 

i Caleb Cooke, Andrew Andrews, Deacon Samuel Street, Deacon Da- 
vid Hall, Major Reuben Atwater, Timothy Hall, Samuel Beach, Deacon 
Ebenezer Cowles, Deacon John Hough. 


ing. The committee appointed, reported at an adjourned 
meeting as their unanimous opinion, that the following 
instructions be immediately forwarded to the representa- 
tives of the town, viz. : 

" To Col. Street Hall and M r David Brooks, representatives 
of the Town of Wallingford in the General Assembly of the 
State of Connecticut, now Setting at Hartford : 

"GENTLEMEN: Your Constituants Confiding in your 
abilities, & public Spirit think it unnecessary to give you 
direction in the General business of your appointment, but as 
the Important Subject of acceding to the 'articles of Confed- 
eration and perpetual union between the united States of 
America ' lies before the General Assembly, we shall freely 
offer you our sentiments upon it these articles have been 
considered by us as far as the Time would allow, with a de- 
liberation and impartiality due to so interesting a subject. We 
admire and applaud the wisdom of the illustrious patriots, 
representatives of the united States in General Congress 
the liberality of their Sentiments ; their mutual Candor and 
Condesention ; their patient attention to the weighty enquiry 
on what basis an independent, free and permanent empire 
may be erected by these States. an Empire which may 
equally secure to the respective States their distinct preroga- 
tives, and unite their Councils against a Common Enemy, an 
empire which from its advantages for Commerce, population 
and extension together with the Singular Circumstances of 
the present Struggle for its existance, Promiseth to be the 
most stable and formidable on the globe. the result of the 
deliberation of the public Council of these States on this 
great Subject we have waited for with much expectation. We 
are Sensible it is of importance that a Form of Government 
for the united States be agreed upon as soon as possible it 
gives us great pleasure that we can so cordially acquiesce in 
much the greater part of the Articles of union proposed and 
thought it would have been agreeable to our own inclination 


had we one or two things in Several of the Articles been 
different yet we would not be so illiberal as even to mention 
things of small Comparative moment. 

" We therefore concur with the Articles in every particular, 
except that which determines the proportion of each State 
Shall bear of the public expence, according to the value of 
their Lands, buildings, and improvements Respectively, the 
mode of estimating the value thereof to be directed and ap- 
pointed from time to time by Congress, Art. vin. To this 
you are directed to dissent first, because the mode of esti- 
mating Land &c. is not ascertained. In a matter which so 
nearly affects us and our posterity, we Cannot place an im- 
plicit Confidence even in the wisest and greatest of men. 
Secondly, Because it is difficult to know the differences of 
real estate, and Still more so to find people that are not 
interested in mistaking them. In addition also to the diffi- 
culty and expence which must attend the proposed estimate, 
its being Subject to frequent alterations will probably excite 
jealousies and tumults which will bear an unfriendly aspect 
on the wished for union, thirdly and especially, because lay- 
ing the whole of Each States proportion of the Common 
Expence on Land, buildings, and Improvements will be 
unequal buildings are a perishing Interest, attended with 
expences not profit. In the northern states their number, 
and in general their quality much exceed the proportion in 
most of the Southern States, this mode therefore Subjects 
the former to a disproportionate part of the public burthen it 
moreover lays an heavy tax on the necessaries of Life, and 
tends to introduce great inequality of condition both which 
are incompatible with a Free government. Besides the 
various improvements and Profits of the soil in the different 
States, the Same improvements are attended with very dif- 
ferent expence, in the Northern and Southern States ; In the 
former, from the coldness of the Climate and high price of 
Labor, the neat profits of a farm Small, it is often observed 
that after a deduction of the Expences the owner instead of 


Income from his farm is involved in debt. In the Latter 
from the plenty of Laborers and low price of labor added to 
the fertility of the Soil, the Clear profits are great Rich plan- 
tors in the Southern States are better abel to Pay the public 
tax on their polls, than the greatest part of the husbandmen 
in the northern States on their Lands, from which with all 
their diligence and discretion they get but a Scanty Subsis- 
tance for their families, the Length and Severity of the winter 
Consuming all that is gathered in Summer, when the Inhab- 
itants of a State are all free Subjects, taxes says the great 
Montesquieu, may be laid either on persons, on Lands, on 
Merchandise, on two of these or on all three together, the 
duties felt least by the People are those on Merchandise. 
The same inimitable writer remarks ' that taxes Should not 
follow the proportion of peoples property, but the proportion 
of their wants Every man is entitled to an equal Share of 
what is necessary for Nature ; and whatsoever is necessary 
for Nature ought not to be taxed, if the Body of the people 
in any State are permitted to enjoy only Just what is neces- 
sary for Subsistence the least disproportion in the tax will be 
of the greatest Consequence.' to what is necessary for 
nature, Succeeds the usefull which ought to be taxed, but less 
than the Superfluity and the Largeness of the Taxes on what 
is Superfluous prevents Superfluity. Such were the Senti- 
ments of the Greatest civilian of the Present age. While 
you are to dissent from the 8th article for the reasons afore- 
said you will submit it to Consideration, whether the following 
mode of proportioning the part each State Shall Defray of 
the Common expence may not be equal, viz., one third of the 
tax to be laid on Land, Provided Some mode of ascertaining 
the Value can be pointed out, one third on the polls and 
the other third on exports any State can pay taxes according 
to the Number of Laborers or according to its exports so far 
at least as this exceeds the import of necessary articles. We 
have only time to offer hints of our Sentiments on the impor- 
tant subject, corroborated by the greatest name in the 


Political world, your own Judgment and opportunity will 
readily suggest many things coincident herewith you will 
consider gentlemen, that the proposed confederacy is to be 
perpetual that it will when once established, Collect Strength 
Daily that if there are any material objections to the plan 
of Confederation before you now is the only opportunity to 
State them that it is of the last moment to lay the founda- 
tion of a new empire right in every Respect ; especially in 
a point so essential as taxation, which thing forced these 
States into the present war with BRITAIN that the State of 
Generations yet unborn depends on the confederacy now 
forming. However solicitous we are to have a Confederacy 
of these States Speedily accomplished, we had rather it were 
Deferred a Little longer, than that any wrong principles 
Should be interwoven with it. Should an inequitable mode 
of taxation be adopted into the Constitution of the confede- 
rate States, we could not even apply what the eminent writer 
before named Says of the Constitution of England, his words 
are, it is not my business to Examine whether the English 
actually enjoy Liberty, or not, it is sufficient to my purpose to 
observe that it is established by their Laws. 

"Voted at said Meeting to accept the above Report of the 

"July, 1781, voted that those men who were Draughted for 
three months Tower of Duty be paid by the Town 2o.v a 
month in Silver or Equivalent in other Money while in 

The struggle which succeeded the Declaration of In- 
dependence was long and arduous, and nobly was it 
maintained. One spirit seemed to animate the whole 
country, that of resistance to oppression. The injuries 
inflicted, the battles fought, the sacrifices of property 
and life endured, and the final victory and triumph, are 
written on the pages of history. Wallingford men were 
to be found in many a hard fought battle ; they carried 


with them marks of honor from Bunker Hill, the blazing 
lines of Saratoga and Yorktown, the blood-dyed waters 
of the Brandywine, the dreary snows of Valley Forge, 
the streets of Lexington and Concord, from Trenton 
and Monmouth, Camden, Bennington, and other hard 
fought fields of battle. Dr. Dana while at Wallingford, 
took an early and decided position in favor of our na- 
tional independence. At that time, while the revolution 
was approaching, public sentiment in Connecticut had 
by no means become unanimous as to the expediency 
of attempting to stand against the British government, 
or of taking any measures which might sever the tie 
between the colonies and the parent empire. The east- 
ern part of the State was somewhat in advance of the 
western, and if I mistake not, the " new lights," as a 
body, were a little before the old light or conservative 
party as a body. So slow was Governor Fitch in coming 
up to the grand movement of the day, and consenting to 
the adoption of strong measures, that during the agita- 
tions consequent upon the stamp act, he lost the 
confidence of the people and lost his office. 

It was not far from this time that Dr. Dana, then a 
young man, was invited to preach for Mr. Whittelsey in 
New Haven, on one occasion while the Legislature was 
in session in that place. Many, particularly of the 
eastern members, would have refused to hear so sus- 
pected a preacher if they had not understood that he 
was strongly on their side in politics. Their curiosity 
and their confidence in his political orthodoxy overcame 
their dislike of his ecclesiastical irregularity. His 
audience therefore included all the leading political 
men of the colony. Expecting, or at least hoping for 
such an audience, he had prepared himself for the oc- 


casion. His text was Heb. 11: 24, 25. "By faith, 
Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called 
the son of Pharoah's daughter, choosing rather to suffer 
affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the 
pleasures of sin for a season." And though to men not 
in the habit of looking for a double sense, the sermon 
might have seemed far enough from having any politi- 
cal bearing, there were few in that audience who did not 
see the meaning. As the preacher illustrated and 
vindicated the conduct of Moses " when he had come to 
years," it became very plain that Connecticut having 
come to years was old enough to act for herself, and 
trusting in the God of Israel, to refuse to be any longer 
dependent upon Pharaoh. 1 

In the eloquent language of Boutwell, 2 " the American 
Revolution was a clear indication, in itself, of what the 
colonies had been, and what the republic was destined 
to be. Had the Revolution been delayed, no history, 
however minute, could have given to the world so accu- 
rate a knowledge of the colonists from 1 770 to 1 780 as 
it now possesses. It was the full development of all 
their past history ; it was the concise", vigorous, intelli- 
gible introduction to their future. It was a great illus- 
tration of preexisting American character. Neither 
religious nor political fanaticism was an element of the 
American Revolution. It was altogether defensive ; 
defensive in its assertion of principles, defensive in its 
warlike operations." 

At this late day it is impossible to obtain a complete 
list of the persons who served in the war. In addition 

1 Bacon's Hist. Dis., p. 273. This incident is related on the authority 
of Judge Chauncey, one of the hearers of the sermon. 

2 Dedication of the Davis monument, at Acton, Mass. 


to those who as militia men were called occasionally 
into service, the persons whose names are annexed were 
soldiers in the regular army from Wallingford, including 
the Meriden parish. The greater part of the names 
were found in contemporaneous records, manuscript or 
printed, and a very few have been added on the tes- 
timony of descendants whose account the author deemed 
trustworthy. Let us pay to their memory and their 
virtues the most respectful and acceptable tribute, by 
cultivating a love of the principles by which they were 
actuated, and by assiduously striving to preserve the 
blessings which they won. 








1 John Couch held a commission, and was prisoner for several years on 
Long Island. 

2 Joseph Shailer was a lieutenant in the regiment of Col. Meigs, a corps 
distinguished for its gallantry and efficiency. Subsequently he was engaged 
in the frontier war with the Indian tribes in the year 1791. Having re- 
ceived a Captain's commission, he raised a company of soldiers from this 
town and vicinity, and joined the forces of General St. Clair in their expedi- 
tion against the Indians on the Miami. At the time of St. Clair's disastrous 
defeat, with terrible slaughter of his troops, Captain Shailer was absent as 
commander of some garrisoned fort in the rear. About that time he and 
his son venturing to hunt a short distance from the fort, were attacked by 
Indians. His son was killed and scalped, but Capt. Shailer escaped. He 
settled in Ohio at the close of the war and died there. I find the following 
in the church records of this town : " 1789 Capt. Joseph Shailer is de- 
barred from church privileges for using profane language." 

3 Lost the use of one arm in the service. 

4 Died of yellow fever. 










1 A slave of Mr. Noah Yale. The circumstances of his enlistment are 
related elsewhere. 

2 Black Boss was a slave of Abel Curtiss ; and like his colored friend 
preferred the harsh discipline of the camp and the perils of battle even, to 
that very mild form of slavery which existed in Connecticut. The name 
here given is a nickname ; but is the only one by which he was ever 
known, according to the information of those elderly people who remember 

3 Joash Hall rode on horseback to aid the troops of Connecticut when 
they pursued the British troops on their retreat from Danbury ; he rode 
within half a mile of the action at Compo, there left his horse and engaged 
the enemy for some time ; but at last retreated to his horse and mounted 
him ; but the horse was soon shot under him by the enemy. The Assembly 
ordered Mr. Hall to be paid for the horse the sum of ^"19 lawful money. 

4 I^vi Munson was at the battle of Ticonderoga, and was taken prisoner 
with Col. Ethan Allen in his attempt upon Montreal, and was confined 
with others in a room at Halifax, among felons, thieves, and negroes. 

5 Isaac Hull Jun. was a lieutenant in the third company, first regiment 
of light horse in this State. The troops were ordered by an act of 1776 to 
the western part of the State, to join the forces under General Wooster 
the captain of the company being at the time sick and Hull took com- 
mand of the company from the 25th day of October, 1776 to the last day 
of December, 1776, for which service neither himself or his company re- 
ceived any pay. The Assembly in October, 1773, ordered the pay-table to 
adjust the pay roll of said troop of light-horse, by the rule before allowed 
by Congress to the troops of light-horse in this State while in service of 
the country ; and "draw on the Treasurer, and charge the same to the Conti- 

6 Killed in army in 1791. 

7 Eldad Parker was killed with twenty-six others during the attack on 
West Haven by the British in the summer of 1779. In the same engage- 
ment Mr. Atwater and a negro both from Wallingford, were wounded. 






Robert Rice of Wallingford was drafted and ordered 
to join the continental army, but by lameness of his feet 
for years he was unable to march and do the duty of a 
soldier, and was therefore dismissed from the draft and 
service in the battalions raised in this State for the con- 
tinental army. At the alarm in Danbury, Aaron Ives of 
Wallingford volunteered and went to Compo, and was 
in the engagement at Compo hill, where he was wounded 
in his leg, by which misfortune, when he was helped from 
the battle-field his horse was missing, with his saddle, 
bridle, great-coat, blanket, and a bag with three days' 
provisions. His horse he afterwards found, but lost the 
other articles, which were ordered to be paid for by the 

In 1776, the following persons from Wallingford en- 
listed in the regiment commanded by Colonel Philip 
Burr Bradley, of Ridgefield : Jarius Wilcox, Francis 
Wilcox, Samuel Abby, Thaddeus Ford, James Francis, 

1 Killed in army in 1791. 

2 Killed in army in 1791. 

3 Moses Baldwin was in the six months campaign under Capt. Couch 
in Colonel Bradley's regiment in 1777, and received from the State 9 & 
6d. for sickness and losses sustained after he was taken prisoner in the 
above campaign. In 1778 he received 2 is. on account of loss of clothes 
at Fort Lee. 

4 Samuel Rice received from the State 6 $s. for sickness and losses 
sustained while a prisoner during the six months campaign. 

5 Moses Hall was the father of the late Chauncey Hall of Meriden, and 
was in Canada at the surrender of Fort St. Johns. He was also at New 
Haven, Danbury, New London, and was at Albany when Burgoyne sur- 



Jonathan Hall, jun., Asahel Deming. Each of the above 
signed the following document : 

" I of Wallingford, do hereby acknowledge myself 

inlisted a 'Soldier in a Regiment now raising by the Colony 
of Connecticut, to be under the Command of Philip Burr 
Bradley Esq., subject to the Orders and Regulations of 
said Regiment and entitled to their Privileges, until the 
first day of January, 1777, unless sooner discharged by proper 
Authority. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my 
Hand this 26th Day of June, A. D. 1776." 

The following persons composed the company raised 
by Captain John Couch, in Meriden, July, 1776 : 

ENOS Mix, 




December 19, 1780, Captain Berry received orders 
from Colonel Thaddeus Cook, to have his company in 
readiness to march at short notice for Horseneck. Let 
us honor these noble men, for they perilled their lives in 
behalf of liberty when 

" T'was treason to love her, and death to defend." 


Events of unparalelled magnitude have succeeded 
each other with unprecedented rapidity, " as if," to use 
the language of an eminent Scotch writer, " they had 
come under the influence of that law of gravitation, by 
which falling bodies increase in speed as they descend, 
according to the distance." Within the last century, 
our country has emerged from the condition of a weak 
and dependent colony, has passed through one long and 
bloody war to achieve a national existence, and a ten-fold 
bloodier one to preserve that existence and make it worth 
preserving; and having extended its territory from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific and increased its population from 
less than three millions to more than thirty-three, it 
stands to-day equal to any of the empires of the other 
continent, if not superior to the greatest of them in all 
that constitutes true greatness. 

During the last few years we have passed as individu- 
als, and as a nation, through the greatest and darkest 
crisis the earth has ever beheld ; one where the most 
gigantic crime that can be committed against man, strug- 
gled for conquest against the highest blessings he can 
enjoy ; wherein the noblest nation upon the globe, with 
agonized exertions, tried to save its bared throat from 
the bloody knife in the hands of her own children chil- 
dren nursed from her own bosom and reared by her with 


excess of all tenderness while others of her children 
sought to pinion her hands and stifle her cries that the 
diabolic deed might be accomplished. 

Grand providential movements sweep in a wide orbit. 
They may seem intensely destructive, while they are 
the needful preparations for future blessings. The little 
republic of Greece, whose heroic history has filled so 
large a space in the world's annals, had a baptism of fire 
and blood many times repeated. Marathon, Thermopy- 
lae, Salamis, Plataea, crowned names in the legends of 
civilization, were but the graveyards of her heroes. The 
fall of Rome and the extinguishment of the old pagan 
civilization, seemed to cover the world with the starless 
night of settled barbarism. But we know that above 
the wide social ruin there sprung better races, better 
institutions and a better life, personal and national, 
than paganism in its best state ever produced. Great 
Britain had her full share of perilous crises and torturing 
trials. From the bloody meadow of Runnymede, where 
Magna Charta was wrung from the infamous John, to 
the Revolution and Declaration of Rights under William 
of Orange, for four and a half troubled centuries, Eng- 
land's green fields were crossed and re-crossed by the 
deadly tramp of armies. Yet her conflicts have made 
England what she is. The wretched dynasty of the 
Stuarts in England, which according to Macaulay, 
" had produced seditions, impeachments, rebellions, bat- 
tles, sieges, proscriptions and.judicial massacres," seemed 
an interminable age of darkness and blood to both 
Puritans and Presbyterians. But we have lived to see 
that it cemented the English Constitution so firmly, 
that over changeful centuries it has held the nation to- 
gether, and evoked a rare civilization. 


The fiery and frosty trials of our Puritan ancestors on 
both sides of the Atlantic their colonial sufferings, 
their Indian wars and massacres, and especially their 
terrible struggle for independence purified and elevated 
them, burned up the dross of their characters and fitted 
them for their great career. In the progress of nations, 
principles have survived powers, and honest hearts have 
conquered dishonest hosts. We have passed through 
terrible scenes of strife and bloodshed, but we live to see 
one Capital, one President, one Congress, one Govern- 
ment for all this land. And one flag, the same whose 
stars twinkled cheeringly in the dark night of Revolu- 
tion, of 1812, of Mexican struggles, and of the recent 
most hideous rebellion ; the same whose stripes twice 
drove England from our shores, silenced Mexican hos- 
tility, and crushed the most monstrous hydra-headed in- 
surrection that ever arose in any nation ; that flag we 
now see peacefully waving over every hamlet, in every 
state and territory from the St. Lawrence to the Rio 
Grande, from the rocky headlands of Maine, to the 
golden shores of the Pacific. 

Nearly every battle-field of the rebellion had its 
Meriden representatives. With Grant in his repeated 
and telling blows against the main army of the rebel- 
lion ; with Sheridan in his brilliant movements in the 
Shenandoah ; with Sherman in his arduous but glorious 
march through the "hollow shell" of the so-called 
Confederacy ; with Hooker " above the clouds ; " with 
Terry at Fort Fisher, and wherever call has been made 
for brave and valiant work, Meriden sent to the war 
the flower of her young men. Ardent and enthusiastic 
lovers of their country, they freely relinquished the allur- 
ing prospect of a useful and in many instances a brilliant 


future, to encounter the mortal dangers of the field and 
the camp. Enduring and indefatigable on the march, 
cool and steadfast in action, patient under privation and 
ready in obedience, they offered their talents, their hopes, 
their health and their lives on the altar of patriotism, for 
the safety and welfare of their country. 

In the beginning of the war, the Meriden company, 
constructed on the basis of a militia company, was the 
first accepted by the Governor. An immense war meet- 
ing was held, at which Charles Parker presided, and 
speeches, exhorting to action, were made by O. H. Platt, 
Dexter R. Wright, Rev. D. Henry Miller, and G. W. 
Wilson, afterward captain. A company was immedi- 
ately raised, and a Colt's revolver presented to each man 
by Charles Parker. The sum of $5000 was raised for 
equipments. It would be interesting to follow the 
history of each company that went from Meriden, but 
we must be brief, and bear in mind the maxim of Cicero 
that "there is nothing in history more delightful than a 
pure and perspicuous consciseness." 1 

While we are now writing, the first chapters of this 
work are passing through the press. It would be impos- 
sible in the brief time allotted us, to make this chapter 
complete, as we have not yet been able to make a com- 
plete list of the men who served in the war from Wall- 
ingford and Meriden. It is the author's intention to 
publish soon a " Soldier's Memorial," giving a full account 
of the part borne by Meriden and Wallingford during 
the war ; a full list of the soldiers, personal incidents 
concerning them, the battles in which they were en- 
gaged, and full biographical details. We can only add 
here the Meriden Roll of Honor : 

I Nihil est in historia, pura et illustri, brevitate clulcius. Cicero in Bruto, 75. 



Lieutenant and Quartermaster Marshall C. Augur, Henry 
Avery, Henry D' Angelist, William F. Ackerman, George W. 
Andrus, Alonzo S. Atkins, Capt. Julius Bassett, Oscar M. 
Bailey, Francis D. Baker, Wallace W. Bates, John E. Bar- 
low, A. H. Barr, Lyman A. Beach, Marshall Belden, George 
Blake, John C. Brooks, George Burrows, James Butler, 
John Byxbee, Andrew Carliu, John D. Comstock, James 
I. Cook, Daniel Crowley, Oscar Crusius, James Cassada, 
William Cassada, Charles Catlin, Maurice C. Clark, Silas 
Davis, George V. Dagle, John K. Doolittle, James Doran, 
Watson W. Davis, David Dunham, Captain and Chaplain 
Jacob Eaton, James 8. Ely, James M. Ford, Henry Finken, 
James M. Foster, Sergeant Alfred P. Green, James Green- 
land, Charles Ganglofi 1 , George M. Garrelt, Patrick Green, 
Charles F. Green, Julian A. Griffin, Sylvanus A. Hall, 
Thomas Harvey, George Harwood, Andrew B. Hitchcock, 
Sylvanus Hull, Captain William H. Johnson, John S. 
Jameson, Alvin Kenney, Henry W. L. Reach, Lieutenant 
Henry B. Levi, Harrison Lamphear, Madison Lamphear, 
William Lewis, Charles H. Lewis, George H. Lewis, 
Henry A. Lathrop, George W. Lester, Charles P. Lewis, 
Lieut. Edwin J. Merriam, Abraham Miner, Jas. A. Miller' 
Henry W. Miller, Charles T. McWhinnie, William Masch- 
meyer, Edward Maschmeyer, Michael Mallory, Michael 
Magee, Charles R McCorney, Jacob Meyer, Giles Norton, 
Aaron Johnson Pratt, Henry A. Plumb, Edward Parmelee, 
James B. Parker, William H. Peterson, Felix Quinn, John 
Quinn, J. G. L. Roberts, Joseph Rancorn, Lawrence Riley, 
A. I. Richards, William W. Richardson, I. L. Richmond, 
Derrick A. Roberts, Cyrus Root, Chauncey W T . Roberts, 
Oliver Sellew, Selleck Scott, Benjamin R. Sherman, John 
H. Simmonds, Lieut. William W. Thompson, F. A. Taylor, 
Elihu Talmadge, James Thrall, Edward D. Todd, Thomas 
Waldron, Joseph H. Walker, John E. Warner, Edmund E. 
Westerhood, Joel Yale, Henry A. Edgerton, Henry Butler. 
Total, one hundred and eight. 


Of the above, the following are interred in Meriden : 


JAS. S. HULEY, i5th Conn., DAVID DUNHAM, i5th Conn., 
JOEL YALE, 3d Conn., Conn., 

GEO. L. ROBERTS, 151)1 Conn., CHARLES F. GREEN, 15111 Conn., 
Lieut. WM. H. JOHNSON, 8th Corp.WM. G. LEWIS, 8th Conn., 

Conn., GILES NEWTON, i5th Conn., 

CHAS. H. LEWIS, 8th Conn., SILAS DAVIS, 7th Conn. 
GEO. H. LEWIS, i5th Conn., JAMES GREENLAND, i5th Conn., 
MORRIS C. CLARK, 8th Conn., JAMES THRALL, yth Conn. 



Cavalry, ALFRED P. GREEN, 7th Conn., 

JOHN C. BROOKS, i2th Conn., Lieut. HENRY B. LEVI, i5th 
Lieut. MARSHALL C. AUGUR, Conn., 

i5th Conn., JOSEPH JONES, Navy, 

HENRY A. LATHROP, 8th Conn., HENRY W. BUTLER, ist Conn. 
Lieut. EDWIN MERRIAM, yth Artillery, 



Conn., GEORGE BLAKE, yth Conn., 

WM. GIESCKE, nth CONN., EDMUND D. TODD, 2nd Heavy 
HENRY AVERY, 2nd Conn., Artillery, 

LEWIS OSBORNE, 42nd Mass., N. C. JONAS, 8th Conn. 


FELIX QUINN, gth Conn., JOSEPH CASSADY, gth Conn., 
WM. CASSADY, ist Conn. JAMES BUTLER, gih Conn., 

Artillery, JOHN RICHARDSON, died in 1870. 

" Many in sad faith for her, 
Many with crossed hands sighed for her ; 
But these, our brothers, fought for her, 
At life's dear peril wrought for her, 
So loved her that they died for her." 


The expenditure of Meriden for bounties, premiums, 
commutations and support of families, was $91,3/1 33. 
The estimated amount paid by individuals for bounties 
to volunteers and substitutes was $10,715 53. Grand 
List for 1864, $4,300,981. In Wallingford, the town ex- 
penditures were $40,750 oo. Individual expenditure, 
$6,200 oo.- Grand List, $1,796,416. The following is a 


Col. Arthur Button, 2ist Conn. Vols., and Capt. 
Engineer Corps, U. S. A. ; buried at Baltimore. Nehe- 
miah Hough, 320! Iowa Vols., buried at Vicksburg. 


Henry T. Hough, i5th Conn. ; Thomas Lynch, 
i5th Conn.; Augustus Morse, i5th Conn.; Austin 
Phelps, 1 5th Conn. ; Delevan W. Ives, 1 5th Conn. ; 
Oliver S. Munson, i5th Conn. ; Gilbert Clark, i5th 
Conn. ; James Parker, i5th Conn. ; John Webb, i"jth 
U. S. Reg. ; Ralph W. Pomeroy, i8 9 th N. Y. ; Der- 
rick S. Pomeroy, 2Qth N. Y. ; Joel Camp, 27th Conn. ; 
Patrick Condon, 27th Conn.; Timothy Carral, 27th 
Conn. ; John Callahan, i5th Conn. ; John Regan, 
i5th Conn.; Francis Rourke, 2cl Ky. Rifles. 




A WELL known writer has said that nothing is more 
characteristic of the early state of New England than 
the old grave-yards which solemnize her ancient towns. 
Their monuments, epitaphs and decorations show at 
once the prevalence of religion, the backwardness of 
taste, and the poverty of the times. The number of 
buried octogenarians attests the steady habits and sa- 
lubrious clime, while the superior funeral state of the 
ministers and deacons, bears witness to the social import- 
ance of those dignitaries of the church. The ancient 
burial grounds chain with a spell of which the modern 
cemetery with its showy marbles knows nothing ! We 
turn from the fresh mortality which chills us with its 
recent sorrows, to those mossy headstones whose faint 
inscriptions tell of generations long since freed from toil. 
Here one may find the rude monuments of those who 
still walk the earth and lead its progress, and here the 
heart may run over, as Byron says, 

" With silent worship, of the great of old ! 

The dead but sceptered sovereigns, who still rule 

Our spirits from their urns." 


They still live, though their bodies have been mingled 
with the earth. In those seasons when " calling shapes" 
walk the earth, and " aery tongues syllable men's names," 
we can, by the united aid of imagination and memory, 
see them singly, or in gathered groups, like a cloud of 
witnesses looking down upon us ; we can hear them 
utter words of encouragement, or warning, to be heeded 
by the living. 

One of the earliest records in relation to grave-diggers 
was in 1677, when we find that "Will. Ebernatha's price 
for digging graves is five shillings for grown persons and 
two shillings and sixpence for children." It was the 
custom when a person died during the night, to toll the 
church bell at sunrise ; if the death occurred in the day- 
time, the bell was tolled at sunset. Three distinct 
strokes were given for a male adult, two for a female, and 
one for a child. On the brow of a large, sloping hill, in 
the southeastern part of the town, peacefully rest the 
remains of some of the first settlers of Meriden. Here 
the frail memorials, 

"With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked, 
Implore the passing tribute of a sigh." 

Several years ago, the town properly determined to 
perpetuate the memory of the original inhabitants in an 
appropriate monument, to be erected in the early burial 
ground. This monument, which is surrounded by a high 
iron fence sixty feet square, is of freestone, and contains 
the following inscriptions : 

On the south side, 


By the town of Meriden, 


On the east side, 

In Memory of the First Settlers of the Town of MERIDEN 

who were buried within and near this enclosure, and 

whose names so far as known, are inscribed on 

this Monument. 

The Meeting-House in which they worshiped, and the first 

erected in the town, stood about 50 rods west of 

this memorial. 

On the north side, 

Obituary. Rev. Theophtlus Hall, Pastor of the First 
Church, March 25, 1769,26. 62; Mehitable Hall, Sept. n, 
1767, ae. 16; Timothy Jerome, Feb. 23, 1757, ae. 26 ; Abigail 
Way, Sept. 12, 1741,86. 12; Daniel Hough, July 25, 1768, ae. 49; 
Tho s Beech, May 14, 1741, ae. 83; Phebe Merriam, Feb. 23, 
1753, ae. 23 ; Hannah Ives, Nov. 5, 1770, ae. 70; Capt. Josiah 
Robinson, Apr. 2, 1766, ae. 67 ; Theophilus Mix, July 3, 1750, 
ae. 53; Rachael Andrus, Jan. n, 1756, ae. 33; Timothy 
Andrews, Nov. 25, 1743, ae. 23 ; Hannah Royce, Jan. 12, 
1761, ae. 91 ; Samuel Johnson, Mar. 2, 1777, ae. 23. 

On the west side, 

Obituary. Benjamin Curtiss, Oct. 29, 1754, ae. 52; Aaron 
Curtiss, Dec. 18,1763,35. 20; Rebekah Lyman, Nov. 8, 1748, 
ae. 44; Joseph Cowles, Nov. 30, 1760, ae. 83; Mindwell 
Cowles, April 17, 1770, ae. 89; Sarah Bishop, May 31, 1760, 
x. 43 ; Elizabeth Merriam, June n, 1767, ae. 70 ; Elizabeth 
Penfield, Nov. 20, 1765, ae. 18 ; Deacon Samuel Royce, May 

14, 1757, ae. 85; Ezekiel Rice, Esq., Sept, 4, 1765, ae. 66; 
Ebenezer Roys, Jan. 20, 1759, ae. 53 ; Joseph Merriam, Aug. 
24, 1752, ae. 49 ; Deborah Merriam, August 12, 1761, ae. 52 ; 
Ruth Merriam, Nov. 12, 1755,86. 72 ; Mindwell Rice, June 

15, 1769, ae. 27. 

Most of the grave stones have either been displaced 
or broken, and many are entirely unintelligible. We 
copy a few inscriptions : 


In Memory of 

Pastor of y e Church, who having for 37 years difcharged the 

duties of his function with diftinguifhed fidelity and 

accomplifhed Chriftian life, the uniform difciple 

of Jefus Chrift deceafed March 23, 1769, 

in the 6o th year of his Age. 

They that be wife shall shine as y e brightnefs of 
y e firmament. 

In Memory of Mrs. Mehitable Hall Daugh tr of the Rev" 
M 1 ' Theophilus & Md m Hannah Hall died 

Sept r n th 1707 aged 16 years. 
Happy y e dying youth whofe early fteps have trod 
y e Chriftian road of pious virtue up to god. 

In Memory of M r Chriftopher Robinfon died Dec br 6" 1 

1760 in y e 26 th year of his Age. 
as you are now fo once was I, 
Prepare for death for you muft die. 

Here lies y e Body of Oliver Son of M r Ebenezer & 
Abigail Roys he died Dec br y e 6 th 1753 in y e 

7 th year of his Age. 
These forewarnings Remember Well 
Death and Judgment heaven & hell. 

In memory of M r Samuel Johnfon Ju nr who Departed 

this life March 2 nd A D 1777, in y e 23 rd year of his Age. 

Come Blooming youth when this you Read, 

O, See my Fate. 

Dea" Ezekiel Rice Esq., Aged 66 years Departed this 

Life Sptr 4 th 1765. 
To God and Man a faithful Friend ; 
In Serving both his life did spend. 
His Sun is set his work is done, 
Lies here beneath this Gloomy Stone. 


So Great & Good both High & Low 

To Conquering Death their knee must bow. 

In Memory of Sarah wife of Mr. Yale Bishop, 

died May 31*' 1766 in y e 43 rd year of her Age & was buried 

with her infant on her arm. 

The following is the deed of the old burying-ground, 
corner of Broad and Olive street : 

" I, John Hubbard of Wallingford, in the County of New 
Haven, for the consideration of the sum of nine pounds 
lawful money received to my full satisfaction, of the inhabit- 
ants of the parish of Meriden, do give, grant, bargain, sell 
and confirm, one certain piece of land situate and being in 
the parish of Meriden, containing three quarters of an acre 
of land, off from the northeast corner of said Hubbard 's 
land, northward of said Hubbard's house, beginning at the 
highway, a heap of stones the corner, from thence running 
twelve and a half rods westwardly to a heap of stones, from 
thence running nine rods southwardly to a heap of stones, 
from thence running eleven rods eastwardly to the highway 
to a heap of stones, from thence running eleven and a half 
rods by highway to the first lands, and is bounded north upon 
Mary Hall's lands, and west and south upon said Hubbard's 
land, and east upon the highway. To have and to hold the 
above granted and bargained premises, with the appurtenan- 
ces thereof, unto the inhabitants of the parish of Meriden, 
forever, for their proper use and behoof, as a burying place. 
[ Here is inserted the usual form of guarantee.] Given 
under my hand and seal the i5th day of March, in the nth 
year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, George III, of Great 
Britain, &c. king, annoque Domini, 1771. 


To pay for the land, the following paper was drawn 
up and subscribed : 

"Whereas the inhabitants of the parish of Meriden, did in 


their meeting on the 18 of February last, agree to purchase a 
piece of land of the Rev. Mr. Hubbard, for a burying 
yard, we, the subscribers being desirous of a speedy accom- 
plishment of said affair, do herewith our names subscribe the 
several sums that we will give towards purchasing said piece 
of land, and do promise to pay them to the parish committee 
within nine months after said committee shall procure a deed 
to secure the same to the use of the parish as aforesaid. 
"Meriden March n, 1771. 

s. d. s. d. 











In 1842 the question was agitated in Meriden in re- 
gard to laying out a burial ground a few rods east of the 
town, and in 1 845 land was purchased from the estate of 
Wm. Yale deceased, and Lyman Collins. The stone 
arch over the entrance was built in 1847. 

The customs at funerals in different parts of New 
England were for many years somewhat peculiar, and 
were long since modified or abandoned. The distribu- 
tion of gloves, rings and scarfs at funerals prevailed to 
such an extent, that in 1721, the Legislatures of Massa- 


chusetts passed a law against the usage. Town 
authorities complied with the fashion so far, that they 
distributed these articles at the burial of their paupers, 
and the expense was charged over to the town. At the 
funeral of the wife of Governor Belcher of Massachusetts 
in 1736, more than one thousand pairs of gloves were 
distributed among the attendants. 1 

A death in a small community was a great event. 
The magistrate, the minister and the fathers of the 
town came to the bed of the dying to witness his 
testament and gather up his last words. It was soon 
known to every individual of the plantation that one 
of their number had been cut down. All were eager 
to gaze once more upon the face they had known so 
well ; they flocked to the funeral ; the near neighbors 
and coevals of the dead bore him on their shoulders to 
the grave ; the whole community with solemn step and 
downcast eyes followed him to his long home. Riding 
at funerals was not then in vogue ; and a hearse was 
unknown. A horse litter may in some cases have been 
used ; but the usual mode of carrying the dead was on a 
shoulder bier. In this way persons were sometimes 
brought into town for interment even from a distance 
of five or six miles. Frequent rests or halts were 
made, and the bearers often changed. These funeral 
customs continued down to the period of the Revolution. 2 

There was no spot more sacred than the one behind 
the meeting-house, marked with a few rude monumental 
stones. In the eloquent language of Dr. Holland : 
" There swelled the first mound over a white man's 
breast, and there, one by one, as the years rolled away, 

1 Hollister's Hist, of Conn., I. 439. 

2 Miss Caulkins' Hist, of New London, p. 267. 

A A 


rose other mounds. The rank grass waved over them, 
the night-straying cow stumbled among them, and un- 
seemly shrubs sprouted between them, and at long inter- 
vals, were cut away. There, one after another, those 
whose life has informed these pages were gathered, and 
there the brown sandstone, roughly finished, and quaint- 
ly carved and clumsily inscribed, was placed above their 
heads. There they lay when the wintry blast was 
driving, and when the summer sun was shining ; when 
the trees were shedding the purple of autumn and 
assuming the green of Spring. Some fell by the red 
man's arm, and were borne thither in fear, and buried in 
the presence of faithful muskets and threats of ven- 
gence. Some were borne there in old age, an old age 
that died in fear after a life of fear. Among these slept 
the maiden with the bloom upon her cheek and life's 
discipline all untried, and the sweet infant of days, and 
the mother parted prematurely from the children of her 
love, and the man just risen to manhood. Year after 
year the frost came down and heaved the ground, now 
this way, now that, till the mounds settled down to the 
level around them, and the stones sank down into the 
mould, or leaned in indiscriminate and inharmonious 
angles, or fell prone along the graves, face to face with 
the skeletons whose names they bore." 1 

The earliest stones in the burial ground at Walling- 
ford dating from about 1700 to 1750, were mostly of 
slate and are pretty well preserved, though the inscrip- 
tions being shallow and somewhat lichen-covered, are 
difficult to decipher. Then followed a period of about 
fifty years in which the monuments were of sandstone ; 

I Bay Path, p. 415. 


and of these, most of the earliest are so far corroded by 
lichens and the elements, that the epitaphs are quite 
obliterated. After the beginning of the present century, 
marble prevails ; and the old fashioned letterings and 
grotesque carvings of faces and figures, give place to a 
more modern style. 

We give herewith copies of some of the inscriptions : 

Here lies interred the remains of Mrs Sarah Hall relict 
of Mr Joseph Hall who departed this life July 

8th 1796, in the 30 year of her age. 
The blast which nipt my youth will conquer thee ; 
It strikes the bud, the blossom and the tree. 

Another inscription is followed by the quaint lines : 

Lovely companion come to see 

The clods that cover me 

Look at my right hand and view 

The clods that are reserved for to cover thee. 

[Doctor Isaac Lewis, 1784.] 
As I am now gone down to dust 
Five of my children came here first 
The rest may se as they pass by 
That we are now before them gone. 

The following has been copied from the original stone 
on to a new monument : 

The Reverent Mr : Street 
Departed: This Life: len: y e 16 1717 Agged : 82 

The following are specimens of the didactic pendants 
following the name and date of some of the departed : 

He sleeps no longer on the brink of fate, 

nor leaves one loitering wish beneath the Starrs, 

Man at his Best State is Vanity. 


Though death the king of terrors be 
And nature dread the awful day 
Yet Christ the King of Saints we see 
Hath took the sting away. 

Heaven gives friends Why should we complain 
If Heaven resume Our friends again. 
Farewell Vain World, Dust Hast thou Been to me , 
Dust and the Shadow, I do leave with thee. 
Life uncertain ; Death is sure ; 
Sin the wound & Christ the cure. 

The grave is honored where the Christian lies 
'Tis but the ark that wafts him to the Skies. 
From Death we see no age is free. 

At an adjourned meeting held July 4th, 1741-2, the 
following resolutions were presented : 

" Whereas the first society in Wallingford having by their 
vote in their meeting, Dec. 1740, agreed to fence their bury- 
ing-ground with a good five rail fence, and chose a commit- 
tee for that purpose, and at their meeting in December 1741," 
upon reconsideration, voted that the committee chosen for 
that purpose should deposit therein until the society order 
otherwise, by reason of some ill conveniency in stopping up 
a highway as it must if they take in all the graves, in said 
burying-ground, for which reason the question was put to the 
town, whether the proprietors of the common field should 
have liberty to fence the plains, and adjoin it to the rear of 
the home lots from Capt. Theophilus Yale's dwelling house, 
down to Daniel Doolittle Jr's. dwelling house, and make a 
good gate at each end, and make a good gate and a good 
fence at each lane which will accomodate that affair in fencing 
said burying-yard without fencing on purpose according to 
former note." 



THE first seeds of Methodism were sown in Connecti- 
cut in 1789;' and that year the Rev. Jesse Lee preached 
in Wallingford and other places, passing three months 
in the State. In 1790, when the circuits of New Haven, 
Hartford and Litchfield were established, there were but 
four Methodist ministers in New England. Yet there 
were more ministers than classes, and scarcely more 
than two members to each preacher. But under the 
earnest and devoted labors of the pioneers of Method- 
ism, the doctrine and discipline inculcated by Wesley 
gradually extended over the State. 

Quite early in the history of the church there was a 
class of five persons in the east part of Meriden. They 
had no meeting but in private houses, and were visited 
by a circuit preacher once in two weeks. There was 
also a small class of four or five which met in the west 
part of the town. Mr. Charles Baldwin, on his decease, 
bequeathed them a lot which was sold, and the money 
was used in building a school-house near the entrance to 
the cemetery. It was burned down before completion. 

I This is the date given by Dr. Bangs, though it appears from the " Me- 
morials of Methodism " by Rev. Abel Stevens, that Rev. Messrs. Cook and 
Black had preached in Connecticut a year or two previously. 


In 1838, Rev. John Parker, who has done more for the 
Methodist cause in this town than any other person, 
applied to the conference to supply Meriden with preach- 
ers, and Rev. J. E. Searles was sent. He preached in a 
hall at West Meriden, owned by James S. Brooks. Mr. 
Parker afterward applied to have him withdrawn, and 
paid back to the society all they had paid for his 

In 1840 a young man named Collins, who was filled 
with a conviction that the world was coming to an end, 
was sent. He preached earnestly and many were con- 
verted. From this nucleus the society was formed and 
was called the primitive Methodist society. Alexander 
Miller was the next preacher. He preached two years, 
and a great many were converted under his preaching. 
After him came William Somersides. 

The conference was to have sent Philo Hawkes as 
the next preacher, but believing that the world was to 
come to an end on a certain date, he did not come. 
Rev. John Parker then called a meeting and formed 
them into a church, and in 1844 the presiding elder of 
the district, Nathan Clark, sent Rev. S. Howland, who 
had then been but three weeks in the university at 
Middletown. From that time to the following annual 
conference he received eighteen into the church. 
They had the regular class-meetings and prayer-meet- 
ings. In 1845 Rev. George A. Hubbell was appointed 
by the New York conference to labor in Meriden ; and 
in 1846 Rev. J. E. Searles was sent. During these 
two years the appointment was a branch of the Cheshire 
circuit, but in 1847 it was made a station, and Mr. 
Searles was appointed preacher in charge. 

In 1848-9 Rev. Albert Nash occupied the station ; in 


1850 Rev. P. Chamberlain ; in 1851-2 Rev. F. Bottome ; 
in 1853-4 Rev. N. Meade ; in 1855-6 Rev. George C. 
Creevy ; in 1857 Rev. J. L. Peck ; in 1858-9 Rev. Wm. 
McAlister; in 1860-1 Rev. George A. Hubbell, for 
the second time; in 1862 Rev. C. Kelsey ; in 1863-4 
Rev. Charles Fletcher ; in 1865-6 Rev. Frederic Brown ; 
in 1867-8 Rev. Francis B. Tower ; in 1869 Rev. John 
Pegg, Jr., a graduate of Wesleyan university, of the class 
of 1849. During the pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Tower, 
two hundred and fifty persons presented themselves at 
the altar, there were two hundred conversions, and the 
net gain to the church was one hundred and fifty mem- 
bers. In 1847 they completed and occupied their new 
church. It was built at an expense of six thousand 
dollars. Its dimensions were sixty feet long and forty 
feet wide. 

The corner-stone of the new Methodist church on 
Main street, was laid Wednesday, October 31, 1866. 
The ritual service was read by Rev. E. E. Griswold, the 
presiding elder, followed by a sermon delivered by Rev. 
Moses L. Scudder. The following clergy were present: 
Rev. Messrs. Heman Bangs, of New Haven ; F. H. 
Newhall, D. D., of Middletown ; Wm. McAllister, of 
Brooklyn, N. Y. ; T. H. Burch ; C. E. Glover ; J. E. 
Searles, of New Haven ; A. M. Allen, of Southington ; 
W. W. Bowditch, of Brooklyn, N. Y. ; H. B. Elkins, of 
Simsbury ; and J. M. Buckley, of Brooklyn, N. Y. 1 The 

I The box in the corner-stone was made of sheet-copper, sealed air- 
tight, and was twelve inches square by six inches deep. The contents were 
as follows: I, Bible; 2, Methodist Hymn-Book ; 3, Discipline of the 
M. E. Church ; 4, Methodist Catechism ; 5, List of officers and members 
of the Meriden M. E. Church ; 6, List of Building Committee ; 7, List of 
Centenary Committee ; 8, Architect's card ; 9, Photograph of new church ; 
10, Card of mason builders, Perkins and Lines ; n, Christian Advocate 


society were mainly indebted to the Rev. Francis P. 
Tower for the idea of erecting the edifice in the year 
1 869, it having been suggested by him that it be built as 
a centenary church, in commemoration of the one- 
hundredth anniversary of American Methodism. The 
church cost about seventy-five thousand dollars. The 

and Journal; 12, The Methodist ; 13, Zion's Herald and Wesleyan Advo- 
cate; 14, Stevens' Centenary of Methodism ; 15, Six Centenary Hymns 
by Rev. George Lansing Taylor; 16, Corner-stone hymn by Rev. F. P. 
Tower; 17. Manual of ist Cong. Church of West Meriden ; 18, Manual 
of Cent. Cong, church; 19, List of members of West Meriden Baptist 
church ; 20, List of officers and members and the Confession of Faith, of 
the ist Universalist church of Meriden; 21, List of members of the Lu- 
theran Evangelical St. John's church of Meriden ; 22, List of the number 
and names of the various Churches in Meriden; 23, List of the officers, 
teachers, and scholars of the Sunday School of the M. E. Church of Meri- 
den; 24, A 7 ". Y. Independent; 25, The Nation; 26, Meriden Recorder; 
27, N. Y. Daily Tribune; 28, N. Y. Daily Times ; 29, N. Y. Daily 
Herald; 30, N. Y. Daily World; 31, National Temperance Advocate ; 
32, Conn. State Temperance Journal ; 33, U. S. fractional Currency of 
the denomination of three, five, ten, twenty-five, and fifty cents ; 34, U. S. 
coins of the denomination of one, two, three, and five cents ; 35, Three 
cent U. S. Postage stamp ; 36, Price List of articles manufactured by 
Charles Parker ; 37, The same of Edward Miller & Co. ; 38, The same of 
Bradley & Hubbard; 39, The same of Meriden Britannia Co; 40, Pro- 
gramme of Exercises of the corner stone laying and the centenary cele- 
bration ; 41, i4th annual report of the State Reform School; 42, Pro- 
ceedings of the 22d annual session of the Conn. Grand Division of the 
Sons of Temperance ; 43, Constitution of grand and subordinate lodges 
of Good Templars in Conn. ; 44, Exposition of independent order of 
Good Templars ; 45, Circular of J. Wilcox & Co. ; 46, List of officers and 
members of the Ladies' centenary association ; 47, List of officers and 
members of the ist Baptist church of Meriden ; 48, List of officers and 
members, and constitution and by-laws of Meridian Lodge, No. 77, Free 
and Accepted Masons ; 49, Same of Keystone chapter, No. 27, Royal Arch 
Masons; 50, Same of Hamilton council, No. 22, Royal and Select Mas- 
ters; 51, Same of Center Lodge, No. 94, F. and A. Masons; 52, List of 
officers and members of Star of Hope Lodge, No. 26, independent order 
of Good Templars ; 53, Card and samples of work of the U. S. Screw 


Messrs. Charles and John Parker jointly contributed 
between thirty and forty thousand dollars. Future 
generations will make their memory fragrant for this 
generous, noble-hearted and commendable bequest. The 
dimensions of the church are sixty feet wide within but- 
tresses, and one hundred and twenty-one feet in length, 
with a recess in the rear nineteen feet deep, making the 
entire length one hundred and forty feet. The organ 
cost six thousand dollars. 




IN the year 1821, the first sermon in Meriden by a Uni- 
versalist preacher was delivered by Rev. Mr. Brooks of 
Massachusetts. This service was held in the evening, at 
the residence of Noah Pomeroy in the eastern part of 
the town. From twenty to thirty persons were present, 
a considerable portion of them doubtless from motives 
of curiosity. No further meeting was held till Decem- 
ber, 1823, or January, 1824, when Rev. Nehemiah Dodge, 
then of New London, preached one evening in Mr. 
Pomeroy's house. Mr. Dodge had been a Baptist 
preacher of celebrity, and had preached under the 
auspices of the Baptist denomination in all this vicinity. 
He officiated from 1816 to 1821 in the Baptist church in 
New London, and remained in the church till 1823, when 
he was excluded on the ground that he had embraced 
Universalist principles. After the sermon a Baptist 
brother, Deacon John Hall, attacked the preacher's sen- 
timents and a spirited little controversy was held. 

Some six years elapsed, when next in order came Rev. 
John Boyden, then a very young man, of Berlin, who 
preached in the hall of the old tavern, corner of Main 
and Broad streets, and also in the north center school- 
house, April 4, 1830, February 26, April 25, and Sep- 


tember 26, 1833. The average attendance on Mr. 
Boyden's ministry here was about twenty. At this time 
the avowed Universalists in the town were Noah 
Pomeroy, Calvin Coe, Daniel Yale, Darling Dayton and 
Mrs. Calvin Coe. But very few ladies attended the 
meeting, as it was hardly considered respectable for 
females to do so. 1 The compensation of the preacher 
was ten dollars per Sunday, and was mostly paid by 
Messrs Pomeroy and Coe. Mr Pomeroy, being with his 
family, an attendant at the Baptist church, and a liberal 
contributor to its expenses, asked the use of the vestry 
of that church for Mr. Boyden to preach in, but was 
refused ; whereupon he withdrew his attendance and 

Soon after, late in 1833 or early in 1834, Rev. Horace 
Smith, then the successor of Mr. Boyden at Berlin, and 
who had formerly been a Baptist minister, preached three 
or four sermons in the old north center school-house. 
Early in 1834, there preached one evening in Mr. Pome- 
roy's house, Rev. Stephen R. Smith, then probably of Al- 
bany, N. Y. Some fifty persons were present. Not far 
from this time, Dr. Luther Parmelee and his father moved 
into the town and attended the meetings ; and during the 
latter part of Mr. Boyden's ministry, Hezekiah Rice 
settled here, and with his wife joined the society. Early 
in the same year, 1834, Rev. Thomas Miller, of Long 
Island, but a native of Wallingford, uncle of the late 
Rev. Harvey Miller of this town, and who had been a 
Baptist preacher, preached a single evening in Noah 

I The following is on the records of the First congregational church of 
this town, May 15, 1837 : "Mr. Alson L. Talmadge, for embracing the doc- 
trines of universal salvation, be no longer considered a member of this 


Pomeroy's house. Beginning with April, 1834, and ex- 
tending to April, 1835, Rev. W. A. Stickney, then of 
Berlin, lectured here in the tavern hall and in the old 
north center school-house the fourth Sunday evening in 
each month, making in all twelve discourses. When the 
Baptists vacated their old meeting house (the present 
academy building), the purchase of it for the use of the 
Universalists was talked of, and Messrs. Pomeroy, Coe 
and H. Rice proposed contributing five hundred dollars 
each for that purpose, but the project failed. Scattered 
over a period of thirty-two years, viz., from 1821 to 
March, 1853, there were delivered in the town about 
forty sermons and lectures, equal to twenty Sundays 
labor, by seven or eight different clergymen. 

On the thirteenth of March, 1853, Rev. Abraham 
Norwood, then and for several years after the State mis- 
sionary, preached in the present academy hall, having in 
the morning sixty hearers, in the afternoon eighty, and 
the same number in the evening. After the close of 
the evening service he found written on the blank leaf 
of a conference hymn-book which he had supplied for 
the singing, the words of this invocation : " May the 
cuss of God go with you." Rev. J. J. Twiss, then of 
Stamford, preached the first and second Sundays of 
April, 1853. On the evening of the first day of his 
ministry, a meeting was held, and a committee of five 
appointed to see how much could be raised to build a 
place of worship. January 15, 1854, Rev. Mr. Nor- 
wood preached to fifty, seventy, and sixty hearers ; and 
the next evening in East Meriden to thirty listeners. 
March 5, 1854, a committee reported that seven hundred 
dollars had been subscribed, and that the brethren were 
ready to settle any minister that might be sent them. 


On the twenty-third and thirtieth of the following 
month Rev. James Gallager, 1 of Easton, Pa., preached as 
a candidate, and was invited to become the pastor, at a 
salary of seven hundred dollars. The call was accepted, 
and Mr. Gallager became the first Universalist pastor of 
Meriden, commencing on the second Sunday in June, 
1854. On the 3Oth of May, 1854, a constitution was 
adopted, and the following names attached to it, viz. : 
Noah Pomeroy, Calvin Coe, E. E. Smiley, Wm. H. 
Golden, John S. Blake, Moses Waterman, Isaac C. 
Lewis, J. V. Thayer, B. F. Stevens, Edwin Dayton, 
Monroe Barns, John L. Ives, B. R. Stevens, H. E. 
Welton, James T. Pomeroy, E. R. Aspinwall, John C. 

I Rev. James Gallager was born in Philadephia in 1813. At an early 
age he learned a trade ; but while visiting Bridgeton, N. J., he met with 
Rev. Abel C. Thomas, through whose influence he became interested in 
the cause of Universalism, and was induced to enter the ministry. He 
removed to Philadelphia shortly after, and was married to Miss Frances C. 
daughter of Rev. David Oliver. At the same time he continued to work 
at his trade by day, pursuing his studies with great perseverance by night 
under Rev. A. C. Thomas. In 1837, he delivered his first address before 
the Young Men's Institute in Philadelphia, and shortly after he received a 
call from the Universalist society of Pottsville, Pa., where he labored very 
successfully for five years ; then moved to Providence, R. I., where he re- 
mained but a short time, and accepted a call from the first Universalist 
society of Newark, N. J. The society prospered under his care during his 
sojourn of five years ; but he met with a sad bereavement in the death of 
his beloved wife, who died of consumption, leaving four motherless chil- 
dren to his care. In 1850, he became pastor of the church in Easton, Pa., 
where he remained six years, being united in marriage while there, to Miss 
Jane Brown, of Philadelphia. In June, 1854, he was called to Meriden. 
In 1857, he removed to Hamilton, Ohio. After supplying the pulpit there 
for three months, he was taken suddenly ill one Sunday in the midst of his 
sermon, and was removed to his house, where he lay in great suffering for 
three weeks, until his death, July n, 1857. He was buried on Sunday, 
July 12, from the Methodist church, it being larger than the Universalist, 
their minister officiating in the services. His remains were afterward re- 
moved to Newark, N. J. 


Marvin, J. V. Foster, Charles Pomeroy, Norman W. 
Pomeroy, Philip Sage Pelton, P. S. Bliss, Jr., Silas 
Gladwin, G. E. Leonard, Aaron Gardner, and Isaac 
P. Lewis. At the annual meeting held in April, 1855, 
a year later, thirteen new names were added to the soci- 
ety's list. At a meeting held January 31, 1860, it was 
found that four thousand and three hundred and twenty 
dollars had been subscribed toward the building of a 
church, and that six hundred and eighty dollars in 
addition were required before further progress could be 
made. This remaining sum was subscribed by persons 
present. The church was dedicated December 5, 1860. 
The whole expense incurred in the building of the 
church and adjoining sheds, not including carpets and 
upholstery, was nine thousand two hundred and fourteen 
dollars and eighteen cents. 

The Rev. Mr. Gallager remained with the society two 
years and a half, preaching his farewell sermon January 
25, 1857. He settled in Hamilton, Ohio, and died on 
the i6th of the following July. He was a man much 
loved and respected by all who knew him ; and the 
savor of his Christian life and influence contributed 
toward their elevation as a society in the respect of 
their fellow Christians. Rev. Abel C. Thomas, in a 
letter to the author, says, "So lived and died one of 
the best men that ever lived." 

From January up to the first of September, 1857, 
there preached as candidates for settlement, Rev. J. 
Farrington, C. A. Bradley, J. K. Shepherd, N. C. Hodg- 
don, J. G. B. Heath, and F.. E. Hicks. Mr. Hicks was 
invited to become the pastor, and entered upon his 
duties August I, 1857. He suffered much from ill 
health, and his ministry terminated about the middle 


of the following May (1858), although he had been 
unable to preach for some two months previous. He 
soon removed to Dover, N. H., where, as is believed, he 
enjoyed a successful ministry of some three or four 
years. From this place he went to western New York 
for a space, and then accepted a call from the second 
church in Lowell, Mass., where he preached until his 
death. 1 

After the removal of Mr. Hicks, for a few months 
sermons were read and the liturgy used by Norman W. 
Pomeroy, Andrew Coe and Abraham Norwood. On 
the 1 2th of December, 1858, Rev. Calvin Gardner of 
Maine preached and continued to do so for three months ; 
not as desiring to be the pastor, but making what he 
termed a " ministerial visit." He died very suddenly 
of heart disease at Waterville, Maine. Next came for 
one or two Sundays each, Revs. A. B. Manley, L. L. 
Record, Albert Tyler, G. V. Maxham, N. C. Hodgdon, 
J. Fisher, and perhaps one or two others. Some of 
these were candidates. On the first of July, 1859, Rev. 
Henry Eaton commenced his pastorate with the society. 
His health was very poor when he came, and bodily 
infirmities increased upon him, so that on the 29th of 
January, 1860, he tendered his resignation. Removing 
to Worcester, Mass., he lingered a year or two, suffering 
much, and finally died, May 26, i86i. 2 

1 Rev. F. E. Hicks was born at Bristol, N. Y., Nov. 4, 1831. He 
studied for the ministry under Rev. J. H. Tuttle ; preached his first sermon 
at Fulton, N. Y., Sept. 18, 1853; was first settled at Victor, N. Y. ; was 
settled at Meriden, Oct., 1857, and dismissed Aug., 1856. Settled at Do- 
ver, N. H., from which church he was dismissed Oct., 1861. Removed 
thence to Leroy, N. Y., and afterwards to Lowell, Mass., where he died. 

2 Rev. Henry Eaton was born at South Reading, Mass., Nov. 27, 1825. 
He was the youngest of seven children. In early life he removed to 


On September i, 1860, Rev. Frederick Foster became 
pastor of the society. His connection with the society 
was terminated March 3, 1861. He settled at Ware, 
N. H., where he died suddenly of heart disease. Mr. 
Foster was a graduate of Dartmouth College, of the 
class of 1840, and was an excellent classical scholar. 
After taking his degree, he pursued his classical studies 
so assiduously, that in a few years he had gone through 
nearly the whole range of Greek authors, with a digest 
of their contents. His classical studies led to a dry, 
metaphysical style of preaching, and his ministry in 
Meriden was not successful. After the removal of Mr. 
Foster, the pulpit was supplied by Revs. Thomas Bor- 
den, Benjamin Whittemore, W. A. Stickney, N. C. 
Hodgdon and A. Norwood, one or more Sundays each, 
till June 2, 1 86 1, when Rev. Moses Stoddard became 
the preacher, and continued to supply the pulpit until 
February i, of the following year. From this period, 
February i, 1862, to July of the same year, Mr. Nor- 
wood preached. Rev. J. H. Farnsworth was installed 
pastor of the church November i, 1862, and remained 

North Maiden, now Melrose, Mass. He attended the public schools until 
he was sixteen years old, when he entered a store in Boston as clerk, where 
he remained two years ; then with his brother William he established a 
shoe-store ; subsequently he set up for himself in the same business in 
Newburyport. He studied for the ministry under his brother Rev. Edwin 
A. Eaton, with the exception of a brief period spent at the theological 
school at Clinton, N. Y. He was first settled at Hanson, Mass., where he 
remained about a year ; then at East Bridgewater nearly the same length 
of time ; then at Milford for seven years ; then at East Cambridge two 
years ; then at Waltham two years ; and finally at Meriden. After his re- 
moval to Worcester his cough became very bad, and his bleeding exhaust- 
ing. He knew that his pilgrimage on earth must ere long close, and de- 
liberately prepared for the event. He died at Worcester, early Sabbath 
morning, May 26, 1 86 1, in the thirty-sixth year of his age. 



seven years, when he removed to Springfield, Vt. Mr. 
Farnsworth was a very efficient pastor, and did more than 
any other to build up the society. He was also for sev- 
eral years acting school visitor. Rev. Martin J. Steere, 
formerly of Lewiston, Maine, was settled over the church 
in the fall of 1869. Without any reference to pastoral 
changes, twenty-six different clergymen have supplied 
the Universalist pulpit since the organization of the 
society in May, 1854, to the time of the settlement of 
Mr. Farnsworth. 1 

i Anniversary Discourse, delivered in the ist Univ. Church, Meriden, 
Nov. 12, 1865, by Rev. J. H. Farnsworth, Pastor. 

K B 




WHEN in accordance with the prevailing usage in New 
England, the inhabitants suspended all secular toil at 
the going down of the sun on Saturday, 1 and began 
their Sabbath service with an evening prayer, a psalm 
and a season of solitary self-examination, it was with 
more gladness of heart than that which Burns ascribes 
to the " Cotter's " children on coming home, after the 
week's drudgery is over, to exchange salutations around 
the old hearth stone and receive anew the paternal bene- 

i The Puritans did not all commence their Sabbath on Saturday eve- 
ning. Mr. W. Perkins, in his "Cases of Conscience" published in 1806, 
argues strongly in favor of beginning the Christian Sabbath "in the morn- 
ing and so to continue till the next morning, and not in the evening till the 
evening. [Book n. ch. 16.] The views of Mr. Robinson, his theologi- 
cal pupil, are nowhere expressed, unless the subsequent usage of his 
ohurch at Plymouth may be taken as such an expression ; which is quite 
as likely to have been derived from John Cotton, whose opinion on all 
such points was well nigh supreme in the New England churches. This 
old custom of keeping, or pretending to keep Sabbath evening as part of 
holy time, which in many families was continued some ways into the present 
century, has nearly or quite ceased ; not so much, it is hoped, from lax 
principles of Sabbath-keeping, as from an enlightened persuasion that, in 
the words of the old Puritan above cited, " the Sabbath is to begin where 
other ordinary days begin, according to the order and account of the church 
wherein we live." 


diction. 1 On the Sabbath, with no more labor than was 
barely sufficient to supply food for themselves and their 
cattle, which had been provided as far as might be on 
the previous day ; with as few and noiseless steps as 
possible, both in-doors and out ; with but little talking, 
and that in a subdued voice, they entered upon a round 
of private meditation, family devotion and public wor- 
ship, which engaged their delighted and unflagging souls 
till the sun went down ; an event which usually found 
them with catechism in hand, or repeating the sermons 
of the day. 

For eighty or ninety years, not more than ten differ- 
ent tunes were used in public worship. Few congrega- 
tions could sing more than the five tunes now known by 
the names of York, Hackney, Windsor, St. Marys and 
Martyrs. All who were present in the church were 
expected to unite in this part of worship. In 1731 the 
town had before them a petition of certain persons for 
the use of the meeting-house, that they might there 
meet and learn to sing. After some demur, the request 
was granted. Having learned to sing, the singers 
naturally wished to give the congregation the benefit of 
their new acquisitions. This disturbed some old habits, 
and a town meeting was convened to hear the complaints 
of those who could not endure " the singing in the new 

I " Wi' joy unfeign'd brothers and sisters meet, 
An' each for other's welfare kindly spiers : 
The social hours, swift-wing'd unnotic'd fleet ; 
Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears ; 
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years ; 
Anticipation forward points the view. 
The mother, wi' her needle an' her sheers, 
Gars auld does look amaist as weel's the new ; 
The father mixes a' wi' admonition due." 

The Cotter's Saturday Night. 


way," as they termed it. The matter could not be 
settled ; dispute arose, and the meeting adjourned. 
Another meeting was called, and after much debate the 
matter was compromised by voting, 

"That this Society Desire and agree to Sing in y e public 
assembly on y e Saboth half y e time in y e new and half in y 6 
old way for six Saboths ; and after that wholly in y e new way." 

The Bay Psalm Book, prepared by New England 
divines, of whom three were Welde and Eliot of Rox- 
bury, and Mather of Dorchester, was issued from the 
press at Cambridge in 1640. It was the second book 
printed in British America, and went through seventy 
editions. This book was used throughout the colony. 
The following two stanzas are from the nineteenth 
Psalm, which is rendered by Addison, " The spacious fir- 
mament on high," &c. : 

"The heavens do declare 

The majesty of God ; 
Also, the firmament shows forth 

His handiwork abroad. 
Day speaks to day, knowledge 

Night hath to night declared ; 
There neither speech nor language is, 

Where their voice is not heard." 

Instrumental music was absolutely proscribed ; it was 
thought to be condemned by the text, " I will not hear 
the melody of thy viols" (Amos v. 23), and was dis- 
paragingly compared to Nebuchadnezzar's idolatrous 
concert of the " cornet, flute, dulcimer, sackbut, psaltery 
and all kinds of music." 

Preaching with notes was very little practised. 
Mather says that Warham, of Dorchester, afterward of 
Windsor, was the first person who read sermons in New 

CLERGY. 405 

England. 1 The approved length of a sermon was one 
hour, measured by an hour-glass which stood upon the 
pulpit. The reading of the Bible in public worship 
without exposition was generally disapproved. Children 
were baptized in the meeting-house, generally on the 
next Sunday after their birth ; sometimes on the day of 
their birth if it took place on Sunday. 

The New England preachers were of a character 
peculiarly adapted to the severe exigences of their day. 
They stood as iron men in an iron age. However rude 
in other social features, the early settlers, as they worked 
their way to the frontier, demanded the soothing influ- 
ences of pastoral care ; and the first institution reared 
in the forest was the pulpit, the next the school-house. 
Were Davenport and his compeers alive, were Street and 
Whittelsey, and Dana and Noyes, and multitudes of the 
early ministers of New England now alive, and among us, 
there are no ministers of religion now living, who, for 
learning, eloquence, character, or anything that adorns 
humanity, could pretend to be their superiors. The 
clergy of New England have as a body, been dis- 
tinguished for a rare union of the speculative and the 
practical. In both points they have been so remarkable, 
that in observing the great development of either of 
these qualities by itself one would naturally suppose 
that there was no room for the other. 

Marriages in olden times were celebrated by the 
governor, assistants or commissioners. Clergymen 
rarely performed the ceremony before 1700. The bride- 
groom who went to a neighboring town to be united 
with a partner whom he hoped to find a " help-meet for 
him," whether he was gentleman or yeoman, rode on 

i Magnalia, Book in. ch. xvin. 


horseback, and carried her home on a pillion behind him. 
They had no wheeled carriages or wagons until the 
middle of the eighteenth century, and very few until the 
revolutionary war was closed. In 1789, according to 
Perkins, the first wagon was brought into Meriden. It 
was owned by Mr. Ezra Rice, and was of a very rude 
construction, being simply a square framed box placed 
on four wheels, drawn by two horses, with ropes for 
traces, and cords for the guiding or driving lines. Yet 
it was then thought to be a very elegant establishment. 
Previous to that time there had never been owned in the 
town but three two-wheeled carriages, being very rude, 
awkward chaise bodies or uncovered seats hung on two 
wheels in the manner of our modern chaise. A gentle- 
man whose business led him at various times into every 
house in Meriden, states that in 1802, there was but 
one carpet in the whole town. 

The houses at first were constructed of logs, with 
the ground, or in some cases if the soil was wet or the 
occupants were persons of taste and substance, with 
split logs, for a floor. They were " good and substantial 
dwellings, at least eighteen feet in length, and sixteen 
feet wide, and nine foot between joynts, with a good 
chimly," of 'stone and clay mortar, according to the 
requirements of the subscribed articles. In the course 
of time framed houses came into use. These frames were 
made of heavy oak timbers, some of them eighteen 
inches in diameter. The rafters were larger than the 
plates, sills and beams of our modern country houses,, 
and supported split sticks called in the rude architectural 
language of the day, "ribs," that were laid across them 
at regular distances, and to which long rent shingles of 
cedar were fastened with tough wrought nails. The sides 


of the building were covered with oak clapboards rent 
from the tree and smoothed with a shaving-knife. 
Houses were palisaded in the following manner : a deep 
ditch was dug around the house ; logs were then placed 
perpendicularly in the ditch all around it, leaving a 
space only for a gate. The logs were sharpened only 
at the top, placed close together, and extended eight, ten 
or twelve feet above the ground. The earth was then 
returned and beaten around the logs, till they stood 
firmly. This with a gate well secured, was a pretty 
good defence against a sudden attack. 

Cider was the most common beverage of the country. 
Some beer was drank. They had no tea nor coffee, and 
at first very little sugar or molasses. Molasses was 
often distilled after importation. Broth, porridge, hasty- 
pudding, johnny-cake and samp, were articles of daily 
consumption. They had no potatoes, but beans and 
pumpkins in great abundance. A good cow was wortl\ 
from twenty-five to thirty pounds, and a pair of bulls or 
oxen, forty pounds. The highest price for men's shoes 
was six shillings, for women's three shillings and eight 
pence. Pattens made of wood, with an iron ring on 
the sole to keep the feet from the moist ground, were 
sold for about fifteen shillings a pair. 

In 1702 six shillings and eight pence was equal to an 
ounce of silver. In 1 749, the period when bills of credit 
were abolished in Massachusetts, there being more than 
seven millions of dollars in paper in circulation, fifty 
shillings was judged only equal to an ounce of silver. 
In 1785 Connecticut granted exclusive permission to 
Samuel Bishop, Joseph Hopkins, James Hillhouse and 
John Goodrich, to establish a mint and coin money for 
the State. The grantees subsequently formed a copart- 


nership with Pierrepont Edwards, Jonathan Ingersoll, 
Abel Buel and Elias Shipman for coining coppers. The 
amount inspected by the board appointed for that pur- 
pose, during the three years the mint was in operation, 
was 28,944 pounds of coined copper. One hundred 
and twenty pieces of the coin were turned out in a minute. 
There were twenty-nine varieties of the issue of 1785 ; 
twenty-seven of the issue of 1786; and one hundred 
and sixty-four of the issue of 1787.' In Massachusetts, 
at one time, the scarcity of small coin was so great that 
a law was enacted, declaring that bullets should pass for 
farthings. Very naturally, therefore, it was common in 
contracts for work, salaries and taxes, to make a specific 
agreement that payments might be made in various 
kinds of produce, with the prices attached. From 
various old documents, I have extracted the following 
list of prices of various articles in Wallingford : 

- In 1673 corn was 3-f. per bushel. In 1674 winter wheat 
was 5-f. 6d. ; summer wheat 5-r. ; peas 4^. / corn $s. In 1679 
winter wheat 5^. ; summer wheat 4*. 6d. ; peas 3-f. 6d. ; corn 
2s. 6d.; pork 3 i-2d. per. Ib. ; beef 2d. In 1710 wheat $s. . rye 
3-r. 6d. ; corn 2s. 6d. In 1755 wheat 4s.; rye 2S. 6d. ; corn 2s. 
In 1770 wheat 6s. Se/.; rye 4*. 6d. ; corn 3 s. 6d.; oats 2s. 2d ; 
pork 3 i-2d. per Ib. ; beef $d. ; butter is. , cheese yd. In 1641 
mechanics' wages were is. 8d. per day in Massachusetts. 

The first stage in Connecticut ran through Meriden 
on the old colony road, in 1784. When the first stage 
went through Meriden on the Hartford and New Haven 
turnpike, it attracted crowds from the surrounding 
country, as did the first train of cars. As has been 
before stated, about 1 662 a stone building was erected 

i It was supposed by some that the bust upon some of these coins was 
originally intended to represent George the Third. 


on the Belcher farm, and permission granted to Mr. 
Belcher to keep a tavern there forever. In 1673, in 
Wallingford, Lieut. Merriman was chosen 

'' To keep an ordaynary and promised to make trial for 
one year provided every planter resident, provide and laye in 
place wheare he apoynts 20 good sufficient rails for fence and 
4 posts redy morticed by the middle of May next." 

Amos Hall kept the great tavern in Wallingford, in 
the time of the Revolutionary war. He married Mary, 
daughter of Ephraim Johnson of Wallingford. After 
his death she married Colonel Isaac Lee, Oct. 9, 1783. 
She died Dec. 22, 1810, aged 73. Mr. Porter Cooke, 
who died in 1860, left the following document: 

" I, Porter Cooke, saw General Washington in Wallingford 
at Jeremiah Carrington's tavern over night October 18 and 
19, 1789. The General took a walk into the upper street as 
far as the Wells meeting-house and back, the citizens follow- 
ing him." 

In 1790, and for sometime before, when the whole 
population of the town was not more than nine hundred, 
and as late as 1812, there were five if not eight taverns 
within the limits of Meriden. As these taverns always 
kept ardent spirits, and as the population of the town 
was small, and as the amount of travel then was much 
less than it is now, these facts would indicate a low state 
of morals. In 1647 ^ ne colony ordered that no person 
under twenty years of age should use any tobacco, with- 
out a certificate from a physician ; and no others, although 
addicted to its use, unless they were ten miles from any 
house, and then not more than once a day. On the re- 
cords we find this curious entry : 

" It is ordered that there shall be one good hogshead of 
beer for the captain and minister." 


On the tenth day of April, 1775, a vote was passed 
instructing the representatives by Capt. Thaddeus Cooke 
and Deacon Samuel Beach, to ask the General Assem- 
bly to make Wallingford, with a part of Northford 
belonging to it, a probate district. Meriden was set off 
from the Wallingford probate district in 1838, the legis- 
lature of that year constituting the town of Meriden a 
probate district by that name. The first record was 
made July 19, 1836.' It was customary in early times 
to enter on the town records the sale and transfer and 
description of personal property, and particularly animals 
of all kinds. The following are specimens of many 
thousands : 

" Branded for John curtis a brown hors colt coming one 
year old with some white hairs in y e forehead & the left shoul- 
der." "Exchanged by David cook Jun r a bay hors two years 
old to John beecher, booth of Wallingford with a star in y e 
forehead, said cook gives beecher 30 pounds bute." "The 
beginning of Janewary, 1706, Sold to Sanuiell Roys to me, 
Joseph Whitin of harford, a bay hors about 5 year old sum 
whit one won of his foore feet 2 notchis, one the back sid of 
Left Ear brandid y one the left shoulder." "The 5 of March, 
1709, for sayd hall, a Blackish culered mare colt, one yeare 
coming a few whit hars in the forhad a few whit hars Below 
the Eys sum whit Beetwene y e Nostrils Brandid y on the 
Left shoulder." 

The following was the Town Clerk's oath : 

" Whereas you A. B. are chosen and appoynted to be Town 

i The judges of the court have been, James S. Brooks, from 1836 to 
1844; Benajah Andrews from 1844 to 1846; John Parker from 184610 
to 1847 ; Benajah Andrews from 1847 to 1850; James S. Brooks from 1850 
to 1851 ; Hiram Hall from 1851 to 1852 ; Orville H. Platt from 1852 to 
1857; Hiram Foster from 1857 to 1860; George W. Smith from 1860 to 
1867 ; Levi E. Coe since 1867. 


Clarke or Register of the town of Wallingford, you doe 
sweare by the great and dreadfull name of the everliving God, 
that you will faythfully and carefully execute the place and 
office of a Town Clarke according to your best skill, for the 
town of Wallingford, and make entery of all such grants, 
deeds of sale or mortgages of lands, as shall be compleated 
according to law, and all marriages, deaths, births and other 
writings as shall be brought to you and you desired to record ; 
and that you will grant and deliver necessary coppyes when 
required of you and pay tendered for the same. So help you 
God, in our Lord Jesus." 

In 1678 Mr. John Moss of Wallingford was 
"appoynted and impowered by this Court to joyne per- 
sons in marriage according to law, to administer oaths to 
persons upon necessary occasions, and to grant war- 
rants and take testimonies." As in every new country, 
wild animals were numerous and troublesome. The 
town offered a bounty for killing them. As early as 
1678, eight years after the town was settled, we find it 
voted that " 2 shillings more be added to the bounty 
given for killing each wolf." As late as 1702, this re- 
ward for killing wolves was still continued, and in Feb- 
ruary, 1713, we find this vote : 

" The town voatted y l they would alow five shillings to him 
that tracks a wolf or woolfs into a swamp, and then giv 
notise of y e same, and then raises a company of men so that 
y e wolf or woolfs be killed." "January 12, 1676, the Towne 
Refused to alow Tho. yale any thing of the young wolfe y l 
were in y e beley of y e woolfe he killed. 1 

I In 1815 a wolf was killed in the southwestern part of Saybrook. Two 
bears were killed in Haddam in 1754 and 1767, and one in Bethany in 1796. 
Deer were in Middlesex county up to 1765. The last moose seen in that 
part of the State is believed to have been one killed in 1770 in Saybrook. 
Wild turkeys were found as late as 1790. A panther was shot in Windsor 
in 1767. 


Our Puritan Fathers were men. We freely confess 
and lament that they fell into some grievous errors, 
which, however, were not so peculiarly theirs, as the 
common errors of the time. Witches were hung at that 
day in Old England as well as the New. James I, 
James II, Queen Elizabeth, Lord Bacon, Lord Coke, Sir 
Walter Raleigh and Lord Mansfield, all believed impli- 
citly in witches. If the Puritan inhabitants of New Eng- 
land executed witches, so did the great and good Sir 
Matthew Hale ; yet the annals of human judiciaries 
know no purer name. He sentenced more than one 
poor wretch to death for familiarity with the devil, long 
after our fathers had abandoned the superstition. A law 
was enacted in Connecticut, that "if any man or woman 
be a witch, that is, hath or consulteth with a familiar 
spirit, they shall be put to death." The records of the 
New Haven colony do not show that there ever was an 
execution within that jurisdiction, for that crime ; and I 
am inclined to think that the last trial for witchcraft in 
the State took place in Wallingford. Captain Daniel 
Clark, as "attorney in behalf of our Sovereign Lord the 
king," arraigned 

"Winnifrett Denham Sen r , and Winifrett Denham Jun 1 ", 
both of Wallingford for having familiarity with Sathan the 
Enemy of God and mankind, and by his aid doing many pre- 
ternaturall arts by misteriously hurting the bodies and Goods 
of Sundry persons, viz., of Jno. Moss Jun r , Joseph Roys and 
Ebenezer Clark, with divers others to the Great Damage and 
Disturbance of the Public peace &c." 

There was considerable excitement and much contro- 
versy over the trial, and the Denhams, father and son, 
were acquitted. The grand jury returned upon the bill 
of charges, " ignoramus?* The records of the colony 

I A word formerly indorsed by a grand jury on a bill of indictment, in 


show strong presumptive evidence that the courts and 
the public sentiment of the colony were not favorable to 
such accusations ; and while our fathers were hesitating 
and doubting if such a crime existed, England, Scotland, 
Germany and Massachusetts were sending hundreds of 
men and women to the gallows. Sir William Black- 
stone, as late as the period of the American Revolution, 
embodied the remark in his excellent Commentaries 
upon the laws of England, that " in general there has 
been such a thing as witchcraft. 1 

In early times rum was largely consumed. A half- 
pint of it was given, as a matter of course, to every day 
laborer, more particularly in the summer season. In 
all families, rich or poor, it was offered to male visitors, 
as an essential point of hospitality or even good manners. 
Women took their schnapps, then named " Hopkins' 
Elixir," which was the most delicious and seductive 
means of getting tipsy that had been invented. Crying 
babies were silenced with hot toddy, then esteemed an 
infallible remedy for wind on the stomach. Every man 
imbibed his morning dram, and this was esteemed 
temperance. There is a story of a preacher who thus 
lectured his parish : " I say nothing, my beloved breth- 
ren against taking a little bitters before breakfast, 
especially if you are used to it. What I contend against 
is this dramming, dramming, dramming, at all hours of 
the day." Tavern haunting, especially in winter, when 
there was little to do, was common, even with respecta- 
ble farmers. Balls at the tavern were frequented by the 

cases in which, after hearing the evidence, they deemed the accusation 
groundless: equivalent to "not found." 

i B. iv. Cap. 4, vi. See also Addison's Spectator, 117. 


young ; the children of ministers and deacons attended 
though the parents did not. 


Until a period within the memory of persons now 
living, it was not the custom to warm houses of public 
worship. Indeed, some would have deemed it an inno- 
vation sadly ominous of degeneracy, if not of actual 
profanation, to make the house of God comfortable. Of 
course the hearers, in cold weather, must have sat in an 
atmosphere the very thought of which makes one shiver. 
Those who had traveled several miles to reach the place 
of public worship, as many of them did, entering the house 
half-frozen, literally found " cold comfort." The meeting 
house was warmed chiefly by the sun, for a chimney, 
stove or furnace was unknown. It is related of the 
Rev. Solomon Williams of Northampton, Mass., that he 
used to preach in a blue great coat, with a bandanna 
handkerchief about his neck, and woolen mittens on his 
hands. As prayer and sermons then were much longer 
than people at the present day will endure, the winter 
hearers of those days must have endured a species of 
martyrdom. It is said that sometimes preachers com- 
plained bitterly that their voices were drowned by the 
noise of persons stamping or knocking their feet to- 
gether, in the attempt to get up a little warmth. 

As a partial relief to such suffering, some persons 
built near the church, what are often mentioned in the 
old records as " Sabbath-day houses." These " Sabba- 
day " houses as they were called, were about sixteen feet 
square, with small windows on three sides, and a chim- 
ney, built of stone or perhaps part brick, on the outside, 
with a large fire-place attached. This room was furn- 


ished with rough seats ; and here the short intermission 
between the services was spent in mutual greetings, 
inquiries after health, and perhaps comments on the 
morning sermon. It is a curious illustration of the 
tenacity with which old habits are cherished, that here 
as elsewhere, the proposal to make the house of God 
comfortable and healthful by means of stoves, was met 
with very decided opposition. Even in 1831, when the 
new house in Meriden was built, it was with great diffi- 
culty that the society could be induced to allow chimneys 
to be built, though they were to be erected gratuitously. 
I copy the following from a number of similar deeds : 

" To all People to whom these Presents shall come, Greet- 
ing. Know ye, that I Jane Hubbard, of Meriden in New 
Haven County, for the consideration of thirteen Dollars re- 
ceived to my full satisfaction of Roswell Cowles of Said Town, 
County, aforesaid, Do give, grant, bargain, sell and confirm 
unto the said Roswell Cowles his Heirs and assigns forever^ 
a certain ould Sabbethday Hous formerly owned by William 
Johnson and the Heirs of Dec. Isaac Hubbard late of Meri- 
den, Decesd, and Stood Southerly of Said Meriden Meeting 
hous on the West Side of the Road, Runing South from Said 
Meeting-house. August, 24, 1808." 

This building stood near the residence of Hiram 


One of the early customs of the town was to beat a 
drum, or blow a conch shell when occasion required the 
calling of a public meeting. To this practice the poet 
alludes : 

" New England's Sabbath day 

Is heaven like, still, and pure. 

Then Israel walks the way 

Up to the temple's door : 


The time we tell, 
When there to come 
By beat of drum 
Or sounding shell." 

We find in the old records frequent mention of this 
curious custom. As early as 1673 is the following vote : 
"June 17, 1673, Sam'll Monson shall be alowed 40^. for 
maintaining and beating the Drum in good order for the 
yeare insuing." In 1675 ^ was voted, " that Jeremiah 
How, have 40^. alowed him for beating the drum, Sab- 
bath days and other days." In 1676 2 i6s. were 
allowed " for beating the drum Sabbaths, lecture days, 
and for town meetings." Again it is voted, "for beating 
drum, sabbaths, lecture days, trainings, and keeping in 
repair, 2os." In 1694 the town voted three pounds to 
purchase a new drum. In 1696 the drum was beaten 
through the main street of Wallingford, from Daniel 
Mix's to Caleb Merriman's on Thursday night or Friday 
morning, proclaiming that a meeting of the town would 
be held on the next Tuesday at eight o'clock. This was 
considered a sufficient notice for such meetings. The 
house of Mr. Mix stood about where Mrs. Edgar At- 
water now lives, and Mr. Merriman's house where Mr. 
Peter Whittelsey now lives, so that the drummer had to 
go through nearly the whole settled portion of the vil- 
lage. With an increase of population more sound was 
needed, and of course a larger drum. We find there- 
fore, a vote for the purchase of the instrument, with the 
order to sell the old one: " December 25, 1705. The 
town sould the little drum to Thomas Hall at an outcry 
of fifteen shilings and threepens to be paid this yeare." 
In December, 1713, it was voted that "ye towns Men 
shall take care that thare be sum sutable person agred 


with for betting the Drum upon ye Lords Days." We 
find this practice continued in 1714. It was probably 
kept up until a bell was purchased in 1727, when the 
town voted to build a belfry, and we may suppose that 
they then purchased a bell, and gave up the drum after 
it had done service about sixty years. 


The old tree at the head of Colony street, Meriden, 
which was cut down on the 26th of August, 1868, was 
planted at the suggestion of Dr. Isaac Hough in the 
early part of November, 1834, by Mr. William J. Screen, 
who was living at Binghampton, N. Y., in . 1868. He 
procured the tree, a white elm about seven inches in 
diameter, in the gap known as the Notch road. After 
he had dug the hole, the tree was trimmed by Dr. Hough, 
who, during his life, watched it with great care, and 
were he alive, it would no doubt be standing to-day. 
The planting was an affair of general interest, and was 
participated in by Major Cowles, Judge Brooks, Howell 
Merriman, Isaac I. Tibbals, Lewis S. Green, Henry C. 
Butler, and others. The tree was planted and grew, as 
the city grew and throve ; and as its manufactories arose, 
so did the elm spread forth its branches and increase in 
beauty and in strength. Under its ample shade stump 
speakers have orated, lecturers have lectured, divines 
have held forth, and quacks have gulled the public and 
carried thousands of dollars from the town. When the 
peddlers of the future flock to the usual trysting place 
they will find it no more. Ichabod ! their profit as well 
as its glory has departed. 

No vandal would have dared to suggest the idea of 
applying the axe to the roots of the old tree, had not 
an accident precipitated such a consummation. On the 
c c 


gth of March, 1863, a terrific fire destroyed the whole 
block of buildings from the depot, including the depot 
itself, the post-office, and all buildings as far as the 
corner of Main street. Here the fire exhausted itself, 
but the heat was so intense that it destroyed one-half 
of the elm tree, damaged its foliage, burnt up its boughs 
and blackened one-half of its entire trunk. But it sur- 
vived the shock, and as the buildings arose on the 
blackened ruins, so it put forth its green boughs and 
bright leaves, and the second spring from the con- 
flagration saw it as luxuriant and beautiful as ever. 
Like the town it was progressive, and always a sign 
of hope to the dispirited and a triumph to the suc- 
cessful. But many of the eyes that saw the old tree 
planted, are now closed in death, and the tree itself 
having seen the city at its feet grow up strong and 
healthy, and likely to outrival any of its neighbors, 
could not close its existence at a better time. 

In the year 1868 a large fissure was discovered on the 
east side of the trunk about ten feet from the ground. 
During the month of August a strong east wind in- 
creased the fissure so that every time the tree swayed 
it suggested uncomfortable reflections that it would 
fall, and the Street Commissioner, Mr. Boardman, after 
consultation with the proper authorities, decided it 
should be razed. Consequently the axe was applied to 
the roots by the commissioner in person. And after 
two and a half hours' hard work, ex-constable Pratt 
put on the finshing stroke, and as the gongs rang out 
the hour of noon, the old tree fell as the sun dies in 
the west. 1 

I Obit, in Republican. 



The first paper printed in Meriden was issued in Sep- 
tember, 1844. It was edited by Mr. O. G. Wilson, and 
published by Wilson and Van Duzer, at "$i 50 per 
annum, in advance." It was called the Northern Literary 
Messenger, and was published in quarto form, five wide 
columns to a page, and was afterward enlarged to folio 
size. It was mainly devoted to miscellaneous reading, 
with but very little of a local nature. The paper was 
originally published at New Haven, but afterwards re- 
moved to this place. The office was in a building occu- 
pied by the Odd Fellows up town, which then stood on 
the site where Rebstock's saloon now stands. The 
building was burned down. Messrs. Wilson and Van 
Duzer published the Messenger about three years, when 
Van Duzer retired from the firm, and a new series of the 
paper was commenced in quarto form, devoted to litera- 
ture and the arts, edited by an association of gentlemen, 
and published by Wilson and Bailey in the old Academy 
building up town, at $i 25 per annum. The office was 
composed of a lot of old material, and the paper lived 
about a year, when its funeral obsequies were per- 
formed. Mr. Wilson removed to Saybrook and there 

In 1852 Mr. F. E. Hinman, who, five years previous 
had set up a job office, issued the prospectus of a pro- 
posed newspaper, of which the Hon. O. H. Platt was to 
be editor. It was called the Connecticut Organ, "A 
Family Journal and Business Newspaper, Devoted to 
the Interests of its Patrons." Mr. Hinman, after issuing 
the paper about a year, disposed of his right and title to 
Mr. James N. Phelps, of New Haven, when to its name 
was added that of New Britain Journal, and it became 


"A Family Paper, devoted to Temperance, Literature, 
Science, Mechanic Arts, Morals, Education, Agriculture, 
General Intelligence, Latest News, and containing a 
compound of all the intelligence proper to be inserted 
in a Family Journal." Its pages contained very few 
advertisements, and the amount of original matter re- 
quired to be set each week, soon ate the concern out of 
house and home. 

Mr. Phelps sold out to Mr. James Lewis, who pub- 
lished the Whig, which was the largest paper ever 
published in Meriden. The Whig ran for about three 
years. With Mr. Lewis were associated as editors Hon. 
O. H. Platt and George W. Rogers. 

In July, 1850, the Meriden Transcript was established 
by Lysander R Webb and Co., and was continued until 
August, 1856. The Transcript was considered one of 
the best and most ably conducted papers in the State. 
It was published at one dollar and a half per year. Mr. 
Webb at last concluded to go west, and Mr. Platt, hav- 
ing in a measure tired of editorial duties, and desiring to 
devote his time and energies exclusively to the practice 
of his profession, the publication of the Transcript was 

In November, 1856, Robert Win ton, a Canadian, 
who had formerly been connected with a newspaper, as 
editor, in North Adams, Mass., came to Meriden and 
being encouraged thereto, and pecuniarily aided by a 
few of our leading manufacturing firms, took possession 
of the printing establishment and issued the first num- 
ber of the Meriden Chronicle. Mr. Winton published 
the Chronicle about two years and a half, when it was 

About a year after this, a gentleman by the name of 


Stillman, from Midletown, established the Banner. He 
bought out Robert Win ton for 1800 dollars, giving him 
his note. The Banner waved but a short time, and then 
died. The paper was published in the interest of the 
Democratic party. Mr. Stillman enlisted in the service 
of his country. 

On the 29th of August, 1863, the Meriden Recorder, 
" A Paper for the Million, Independent in Everything, 
Neutral in Nothing ; Devoted to Matters and Things in 
General, to the Pure, the Good, the True and the Beauti- 
ful, in Particular," was published by Messrs. Riggs and 
Dorman "at their office in Smith's New Building, West 
Meriden, Conn." These gentlemen had purchased the 
material of Mr. Storer's office in New Haven. Mr. 
Riggs had served in the war, and commenced with a 
good list of soldier subscriptions. He also established 
a job printing office. The paper was enlarged with its 
twenty-seventh number, and has made several additions 
to its size since. Mr. Dorman's connection with the 
paper ceased with the close of the first volume. 

On the 2 ist of March, 1867, the Meriden Weekly 
Visitor was started under the editorship of Mr. Marson 
Monroe Eaton, formerly of the Waterbury -Chronicle 
and of the Hartford Post. On the first of January, its 
editor commenced the Daily Visitor, which, in a place 
no larger than Meriden, was a bold speculation. On the 
9th of March, 1868, the Visitor was merged into the 
Daily and Weekly Republican; and edited by Messrs. 
Marcus Delavan and George Gibbons. The name of 
the Weekly was afterwards changed to the State Tem- 
perance Journal. In 1869 Mr. Luther G. Riggs com- 
menced the publication of the Daily News, being a daily 
edition of the Meriden Recorder. 




THE population of Connecticut in 1701 was 30,000; 
1749, 100,000; 1756, white, 128,212; black, 3587; 
1774, white, 191,392; black, 6,464; 1775, 133,000 51790, 
free whites, 232,374 ; other free persons, 2,808 ; slaves, 
2,764; total, 237,946; 1800, slaves, 951 ; total, 251,002; 
1810, slaves, 310; total, 261,942 ; 1820, 275,248. 

The following table shows the progress of Walling- 
ford in population and property during 26 years of its 
early history : 

Year. No. of Planters. Val. of Estates. Year. No. of Planters. Val. of Estates. 















































1 20, 

















i7 3, 
















In 1723 the number of inhabitants was 1 100. In 
1 700 there had been three hundred and sixty-nine births 
in the town, and from that time to 1723, when a new 
parish was made, eight hundred and ninety-four ; in all 
1263 in fifty-two years. The deaths were about four 
hundred from the beginning of the town to the founda- 
tion of the first parish out of it. 

" The following is an account of the Number of the Inhab- 
itants of the Town of Wallingford on the first Day of Janu- 
ary, 1774. The orders for Numbering the People came from 
the King and Council. 

"The Sum of the Old Society, 2130, 

The Sum of the New Cheshire Parish, 1933, 
The Sum of the Meriden Parish, 852, 

49 J 5- 

The Sum Total of all the whites, 4777? 

The Sum Total of all the blacks, 138, 


Population of Wallingford in 1790, 3375 ; 1800, 3214; 
1810, 2325 ; 1820, 2237 ; 1830, 2418 ; 1840, 2204 ; 1850; 

Population of Meriden in 1810, 1249: 1820, 1309; 
1830, 1708; 1840, 1880; 1850, 3559. The census of 
1860 gives to Meriden a white male population of 
3904; white female, 3481 ; total white, 7385 ; colored 
male, 30; colored female 11 ; total colored, 41 ; aggre- 
gate, 7426. 

In the first forty-five years from the formation of the 
parish of Meriden, there were 1 100 births, 846 baptisms, 
288 admissions to communion, and 368 deaths. 

The following persons were in Meriden in 1770: John 
Ives, Jedediah Norton, Samuel Penfield, Thomas Mix, Jr., 
Jonathan Yale, Samuel Scovill, Edward Collins, Amos 


Camp, Jr., Aaron Dunbar, Noah Yale, Jr , Elisha Sco- 
vill, Stephen Perkins, Brenton Hall, Daniel Collins, Na- 
than Scovill, Jacob Webster, Daniel Scovill (1779), Amos 
Camp, Moses Yale, Isaac Hall, John Berry, Levi Yale, 
Noah Yale, John Hall, Abel Yale, Divan Berry, Yale 
Bishop, John Morgan, Reynold Beckwith, Jr., Gideon 
Ives, Nathaniel Penfield, Amasa Ives, Jr., Aaron Hors- 
ford, Joseph Higby, James Scoffield, Jonathan Collins, 
Peter Penfield, John Yale, Jr., Reynold Beckwith, Rufus 
Hall (1775), Moses Mitchel, Miles Hall, Jr., Daniel Yale 
( 1 77S)> Mitchel, Elijah Scovill. 

In 1815 Jesse Ives bought of Benjamin Merriman six 
acres of land running north and west from the corner of 
Colony and Main streets, where the Meriden House now 
stands, for six hundred dollars ; and it was considered as 
money thrown away. About the same time twelve 
acres running south from where the second Baptist 
church now stands, were mortgaged for eight hundred 
dollars, the interest being forty-eight dollars a year; 
this the owner was unable to pay, and he offered to give 
the land for the note, but the person from whom the 
money was borrowed refused to take the land, not con- 
sidering it worth the money. 

Deputies to the General Court at Hartford, from 
Wallingford : 

1678. 1679. 1680. 

John Brockett, Abram Doolittle, Lieut. N. Merriman, 

Lieut. N. Merriman. Eliasaph Preston, John Brockett. 

Lieut. Nath. Merriman. 

1681. 1682. 1683. 

Lieut. N. Merriman, John Moss, Abram Doolittle, 

John Brockett. John Brockett. John Moss, 

Lieut. N. Merriman. 



Abram Doolittle, 
John Moss, 
Thomas Yeale. 


Ens. Thos. Yale, 
Dea. John Hall, 
John Moss. 


Mr. Thomas Yale, 
Dea. John Hall. 


Thomas Yale, 
Ens. Nath. Royce. 

1685. 1686. 

John Brockett, Thomas Yeale, 

Lieut. N. Merriman. John Moss. 


Dea. John Hall, 
Ens. Thos. Yale. 

Dea. John Hall, 


Mr. Thos. Curtice, 
Ens. Thos. Yeale. 

Thomas Yale. 

Mr. Eliasaph Preston. 



Capt. Yale, 
Eliasaph Preston, 
John Hall. 

Dea. John Hall, 
Capt. Thos. Yale. 


Sergt. Jno. Merriman, 
Sergt. Thos. Hall. 

Lieut. Sam. Hall, 

Sergt. Jno. Merriman, 

Capt. Thos. Yale, 

Dea. John Hall, 

Ens. Nath. Royce. 

Capt. Thos. Yale, 

Dea. Hall, 

Jno. Merriman, 

Sergt. Thos. Hall. 

Thomas Hall, 
Nathaniel Rice, 
Lieut. Sam. Hall 
Sergt. Jno. Merriman. 

1702. 1703. 

Ens. Nath'l Royce, John Merriman, 
David Hall, Sergt. John Hall, 

Capt. Thos. Yale. Samuel Hall. 

Capt. Samuel Hall, Lieut. Jno. Merriman. 

Commissioners from Wallingford : 

1678. 1680. 1681. 

Mr. Moss, John Moss, Sen. John Moss, 

Lieut. Merriman. John Brockett. 

Sergt. Jno. Merriman, John Hall, 
Sergt. Thos. Hall. Lieut. Sam. Hall. 


Capt. Thos. Yale, 
Ens. Nath'l Royce. 


1682. 1684. 1686. 

John Moss. John Moss. John Moss. 

1687. 1689. 1690. 

John Moss. Thos. Yale. Capt. John Beard. 

1691. 1692. J693- 

John Morse. John Reynolds, Capt. Thos. Yale, 

Mr. Morse, John Morse. 
Mr. Yale. 

1694. 1695. 1696. 

Mr. Morse, Mr. Morse, John Morse. 
Capt. Yale. Capt. Yale. 


John Morse, Capt. Thos. Yale. 

In 1788 Messrs. Street Hall and Samuel Whiting of 
Wallingford were appointed delegates to the convention 
at Hartford which ratified the constitution of the United 
States. In 1818 the convention which formed the State 
Constitution, was holden at Hartford, and the following 
were appointed delegates : from Meriden, Patrick Clark ; 
from Wallingford, John Andrews and William Marks. 
The assistants or magistrates who constituted the Upper 
House of the Assembly, and in early times were the 
Supreme Court of the State, were the leading men of 
their times. The following were appointed from Wall- 
ingford : 

John Hall, nominated 1719; elected 1722 ; retired 1730. 

Benjamin Hall, " 1749; " I 75 I '> " 1766. 

In 1864 the following persons in Meriden were over 
seventy years of age : Benj. Atkins, Asahel Baldwin, 
Elias Baldwin, Ransom Baldwin, Warren Beach, Ger- 
shom Bennett, Gershom Birdsey, Walter Booth, Fenner 
Bush, Elah Camp, Abel D. Clarfe, Asahel Curtis, John 
W. Hall, Samuel I. Hart, Phineas T. Ives (83), Simeon 


Hovey, Lauren Merriam, Samuel Paddock, Noah Pomeroy, 
Julius Pratt, Chester Rice, Henry Stiles (80), Benj. 
Upson, Jacob F. Whitmore, Jeremiah Wilcox, Julius 
Yale, Levi Yale, Noah Hall. 1 

Meriden was incorporated as a city by the Legislature 
in July, 1867. The first city meeting was held at the 
Town House, August 12, 1867, and Henry C. Butler 
chosen moderator. The following officers were chosen 
by ballot : 

Clerk, JOHN H. BARIO. 











Auditor, JOEL H. GUY. 

Andrew J. Coe was first judge of the city court. In 
1868 Ratcliffe Hicks was chosen City Attorney. In 
1868 Charles Parker was re-elected Mayor. In 1869 
Russell S. Gladwin was elected Mayor. In 1870 Isaac 
C. Lewis was elected Mayor. 

In 1840 the votes in Meriden for presidential electors 

i Those in italics have since died. 


were as follows : Democratic 216, Whig 177, Abolition 
14. In 1844 Democratic 248, Whig 206, Abolition 38, 
Scattering i. In 1856 Fillmore 19, Buchanan 424, 
Fremont 604. In 1860, Lincoln and Hamlin 687, 
Douglass and Johnson 293, Bell and Everett 10. 


1806, Dec. i, road from Asahel Rice's across to or 
near Patrick Clark's. 1813, Nov. 9, road from Simeon 
Perkins's shop to turnpike. 1817, road from foot of 
high hill. 1820, road from the house of the late Samuel 
Leavit, to house of Liberty Perkins. 1820, road from 
bottom of hill near Enos Hall's, across to Nehemiah 
Rice's. 1820, road from John Yeoman's to or near 
Samuel Way's. 1825, road near Amos Austen's. 1828, 
the "Corn well road "-laid out. 1829, road laid to con- 
nect with the road west of Matthew Foster's, with the 
Cat-hole road. 1832, road from Calvin Coe's to Deni- 
son Parker's. 1836, road from Noah Pomeroy's to New 
road. 1839, road near Charles Paddock's. 1839, road 
near Noah Pomeroy's, Watson Ives's and John L. Blake's. 

1845, roa< ^ from Julius Pratt's comb factory, to Railroad 
depot. 1845, road from Stephen Atkins's to Samuel 
Yale's land northerly. 1845, road from Harry Gris- 
wold's to or near Hough's mills. 1846, road from Ivah 
Curtis's to Yalesville. 1846, road from Ivah Curtis's 
southwest through Othniel Ives's lands. 1846, road 
from Samuel Baldwin's to Noah Pomeroy's. 1847, 
road from Episcopal Church to Caleb Austen's. 1848, 
road from Episcopal Church to Lucas C. Hotchkiss's. 

1850, road from Catholic Church to Samuel Gear's. 

1850, road from burying-ground to Andrew Mills's. 

1851, road from Noah A. Linsley's to Moses Burr's. 

1852, Hobert street laid out. 



Wallingford was made a Probate District in 1776, in- 
cluding Meriden, Cheshire and Columbia, now Prospect. 
The following have been Judges of the District : 

Caleb Hall, 1776, 8 years, E. H. Ives, 1844, 2 years, 

Oliver Stanley, 1784, 25 " J. R. Merriam, 1846, i year, 

G. W. Stanley, 1809, 9 " E. H. Ives, 1847, 3 years, 

J. P. Kirtland, 1818, i year, Augustus Hall, 1850, i year, 

R. Hitchcock, 1819, 10 years, E. H. Ives, 1851, 2 years, 

J. D. Reynolds, 1829, 9 " Ebe. S. Ives, 1852,16 " 

E. M. Pomeroy,i838, 4 " Ira Tuttle, 1868, i year, 

Augustus Hall, 1842, 2 " Franklin Platt, 1869, is the 

present Judge. 

Judges in Cheshire Probate district have been : 

Silas Hitchcock, Asa J. Driggs, Edward A. Cornwall, 

Wm. L. Foot, Wm. T. Peters, Wm. T. Peters, just 

Elihu Yale, Wm. L. Hinman, elected. 


John Ives, 74, Mathew Bellamy, 22, Simon Tuttle, 79, 

Wid. Merriman, 14, Henry Cook, 118, John Peck, 69, 

Tho. Matthews, 28, Tho. Hall, Jun., 23, Sam'l Munson, 69, 

Joseph Ives, 40, Jonathan Hall, 22, Eben. Clark, 90, 

Samuel How, 27, E. Royce& serv't,i2i, J. Hitchcock, 98, 

Zachariah How, 33, Mill, 10, Lieut. Hall, 99, 

Mathew How, 32, Francis Kendrick, 32, Dr. John Hull, 115, 

John Brocket, 87, R. Royce, Jun., 43, Deacon Hall, 74, 

Z. How, senr., 53, Serg 1 . Thorp & ap 102, Thomas Hall, 112, 

Gideon Ives, 36, David Hall, 66, Theo. Doolittle, 45, 

Walter Johnson, 46, John Austen, 33, Samuel Street, 59, 

Nicholas Street, 43, Nathaniel Ives, 26, John Beach, 50, 

Nath'l Hall, 29, Capt. Tho. Yale, 168, Dan'l Doolittle, 34, 

Samuel Royce, 48, Ebenezer Lewis, 52, J. Merriman, 137, 

Joshua Culver, 120, Nath'l How, 66, Wm. Hendrick, 49, 


Eleazer Peck, 101, Sam'l Cook, Jun., 64, J. Munson, 50, 
Ens. Andrews, 64, Sam'l Cook, sen., in, Wid. Merriman,n, 
David Hall, 41, Nath'l Andrews, 25, Tho. Beach, 79, 
John Moss, 153, Josiah Doolittle, 40, Benj. Beach, 32, 
Nath'l Curtiss, 24, Tho. Richardson, 27, Sam'l Brockett, 82, 
John Cook, 39, James Ailing, 28, Benj. Royce, 29, 
Dea. Preston, 96, J. Royce & i ap. 78, Wm. Kendrick, 22, 
Wm. Andrews, 48, Wm. Abernatha, 28, C. Merriman, 75, 
Edward Fenn, 60, Joseph Parker, 24, A. Doolittle, 109, 
John Tyler, 51, Benjamin Hall, 50, John Atwater, 113, 
John Hull, 79, Richard Wood, 41, Daniel Mix, 116, 
John Parker, 27, Ebenezer Hull, 25, N. Royce, 100, 
Isaac Curtiss, 93, Thomas Curtiss, 80, Elijah How, 20, 
Sam'l Royce, 102, John Doolittle, 45, Nath'l Tuttle, 28, 
J. Westwood, 28, Samuel Lathrop, 36, Wm. Abernatha, 64, 
Joseph Cook, 30, Hugh Chappel, 18, E. Doolittle, 39, 
Daniel How, 40, John Lathrop, 18, John Parker, 74, 
Jacob Johnson, 46, Minor Phillips, 18, Roger Tyler, 36, 
John Peck, 40, Joseph Thompson, 73, Sam'l Curtiss, 21, 
Robert Roys, 60, James Benham, 26, J. How, senr., 47, 
Wm. Tyler, 57, J. How, jun., 34, Wid. Holt, 33. 

Total, 6261. 


1820, Levi Yale ; 1824, Arnos Curtin ; 1825, Wm. Yale; 
1829, Walter Booth ; 1830, Titus Ives; 1831, Ashabel Gris- 
wold ; 1832, Noah Pomeroy ; 1833, Enos H. Curtis; 1834, 
Eli C. Birdsey; 1836, Asahel Curtis; 1837, Horace B. Red- 
field ; 1838, Walter Booth; 1839, James S. Brooks ; 1840, Eli 
C. Birdsey ; 1842, Ira Couch ; 1843, Henry Stedman ; 1844, 
James S. Brooks ; 1846, Elias Howell ; 1847, Ashabel Gris- 
wold ; 1848, Isaac C. Lewis ; 1849, James A. Tracy ; 1850, 
Wm. S. Ives; 1851, Hiram Hall; 1855, James S. Brooks; 
1856, Levi Yale ; 1857, James S. Brooks; 1858, Asahel H. 
Curtiss ; 1859, Wm. W. Lyman ; 1860, Andrew J. Coe ; 1861, 


Owen B. Arnold ; 1862, Isaac C. Lewis ; 1864, Orville H. 
Platt; 1865, Oliver S. Williams; 1866, Isaac C. Lewis; 
1867, Andrew J. Coe ; 1869, Orville H. Platt; 1870, John 


June, 1806, Amos White ; Nov., 1806, Isaac Lewis; 1823, 
Patrick Lewis; 1826, Amos Curtis; 1830, Patrick Lewis; 
Feb., 1834, Albert R. Potter; Oct., 1834, Eli C. Birdsey; 
1843, James S. Brooks; 1844, J oe l Miller; 1845, Lyman 
Butler; 1849, Hiram Hall; 1854, Linus Birdsey; 1854, 
Johnlves; 1857, Russell J. Ives, assistant; 1860, Chas. L. 
Upham, assistant; 1865, Levi E. Coe; 1866, John N. Bario. 

From Report of the Committee of the Pay Table 
Office, May 15, 1783 : 

" Amount of balances due from the several Towns in this 
State on account of State Taxes for which Execution has 
been granted by the Treasurer. Wallingford : 

Continental Currency. State Currency. Specie. 

Bal. i2s. Tax, 1780,^8451 13^. nd. 
" Nov. " " " 14923 3 8 
"Dec. 245. " " 63393 I2 8 
"Feb. \2d. " 1781, 119 $s.6d. 

"Mar. 24*. " " 3447 5 8 

"July </.. 127 6s. 6f/. 

"Dec. 2d. " " 132 6 9 

" 2S.6J. " " 94719 8 

"Mar. g//. " 1782, 22610 n 

"Apr. 3//. " 7615 2 

"July \2d. " " 8n 17 4 

"Sept. 2d. " 131 10 3 

90221 15 ii 119 4 6 1480 16 7." 




" At a general assembly of the State of Connecticut holden 
at Hartford on the second Thursday, in May, 1806, upon 
the petition of Phinehas Lyman and others, Inhabitants of 
the Town of Wallingford in the County of Newhaven shewing 
to this Assembly, that the Parish of Meriden in said Town 
constitutes in extent, population and Property, more than one- 
third part of said Town, and that they do not in their present 
situation enjoy their just rights to which they are entitled in 
common with their fellow citizens ; praying that said Parish 
may be incorporated with the ordinary rights, privileges, and 
immunities which are enjoyed by other Towns in this State 
by Petition on File dated February i4th, A. D., 1804. This 
Petition was preferred to this Assembly at their Session 
holden at Hartford on the second Thursday in May, 1804, 
and was legally served on the Inhabitants of said Town, and 
returned, and by legal continuances came to this session of 
said Assembly, when the said Inhabitants were three times 
publicly called and made default of appearance. The Peti- 
tioners were heard and the facts stated in said petition were 
fully proved to be true. Resolved, by this Assembly, that the 
Inhabitants living within the limits of said Parish of Meriden 
be and they are hereby incorporated into and made a Town 
by the name of Meriden, and that they and their Successors 
Inhabitants living within said limits are and shall forever be 
and remain a Town and body politic with the ordinary rights, 


privileges and immunities which are enjoyed by other Towns 
in this State by virtue of their respective incorporation, and 
the right to elect and send one Representative only to the 
General Assembly until by law they shall be entitled to elect 
and send two. That the dividing line between the first 
Society in said Wallingford and said Parish of Meriden be 
and remain the dividing line ; That all Persons who shall be 
resident in said Town including said Parish and supported in 
whole or in part by said Town and Parish at the rising of this 
Assembly, and also all Inhabitants of said Town and Parish 
who shall then be without the limits of said Town and Parish, 
and afterwards return and become chargeable with all charges 
and expenses which shall arise by reason of any such person 
or persons, shall be apportioned between said Town of Wall- 
ingford and said Town of Meriden according to the amount 
of their respective Lists for August 2oth 1804 as completed 
and returned to the Town Clerk's Office ; said division and 
apportionment in case said Towns shall not agree, to be made 
by three disinterested Persons of whom two shall be chosen 
by said Town of Wallingford and one by said Town of Meri- 
den; and with a just reference to the number and expense 
necessary for the support of such chargeable Persons ; That 
all Debts which shall be due to said Town at said date shall 
be divided and apportioned between said Towns according to 
the Lists and in the manner herein before prescribed relating 
to chargeable Persons ; That the said Town of Meriden shall 
repair and when necessary build the Bridge of which one-half 
is within the limits of said Town of Wallingford, across Wall- 
ingford River so called, known and called by the name of 
Falls plains bridge, at the cost and expense of said Town of 
Meriden ; That all Collectors of Taxes granted or which shall 
be granted before said time, shall have power to collect the 
same as fully as if the Resolve had not passed ; That said 
Town of Meriden shall hold their first Town meeting at the 
meeting-house in said Meriden on the third Monday in June 
next at one o' clock afternoon, and proceed to the choice of 
D D 


all Town Officers. The Moderator of said meeting shall be 
named by Warrant signed by George W. Stanley Esquire Jus- 
tice of the Peace for New Haven County, and Posted on the 
Public Sign post in said Meriden at least ten days previous 
to said third Monday, and said George W. Stanley Esquire 
shall be Moderator of said Meeting; and in case of the 
absence of said Justice, Ephraim Cook Esquire a Justice of 
the Peace for said County is hereby informed to sign such 
Warrant and preside in said Meeting." 

"Meriden, June 24th, 1806. A true Copy of Record, 

" Examined by SAMUEL WVLLYS, Secretary." 

"AMOS WHITE, Town Clerk." 




THE ceremonies connected with the erection of a monu- 
ment at Wallingford to the memory of Hon. Lyman 
Hall, took place Monday, July 5, 1858, the day after the 
Aniversary of our National birthday. The ceremonies 
attracted a large number of visitors to Wallingford, 
mostly from New Haven and Meriden, though nearly all 
the surrounding towns were well represented. The day 
was an unusally fine one ; a pleasant breeze contributed 
to render the temperature endurable, and although the 
sky was cloudless, and the sun poured down its fiercest 
rays, there were none of the usual complaints of op- 
pressive heat. 

At sunrise the ringing of bells and a national salute, 
announced the coming ceremonies of the day. The ar- 
rival of the cars, from 9 to 1-2 past 9 o'clock, brought in 
a large number of visitors from abroad, who were 
received at Masonic Hall and the Town Hall, where 
was a bountiful supply of fruit, cake, confectionery, &c., 
prepared by the ladies of Wallingford. 

The following gentlemen were the OFFICERS OF THE 
DAY : President, Roderick Curtiss, of Wallingford. 
Vice Presidents, Ira Tuttle, Wm. Francis, of Wall- 
ingford ; Charles Parker, of Meriden ; E. A. Cornwall, 


of Cheshire, and David M. Hotchkiss, of Prospect. 
Tablet Bearers ; Wallingford, Col. Ward Johnson, Calvin 
Harrison, Joel Hall, Jesse Tuttle, Sam'l C. Ford. 
Meriden, Gen. Walter Booth, Ira Twiss, Almeron Miles. 
Cheshire, Benjaman Ives, Dr. Wm. T. Peters, T. H. 
Brooks. Prospect, David M. Hotchkiss, Capt. Wm. 
Mix. Each of the above named Bearers wore the three 
cornered hat of Revolutionary times, and their antique 
appearance commanded much attention. 

The line formed in front of the Town Hall, under the 
direction of ex Sheriff Parmelee, the Marshal of the 
Day, assisted by the following Aids-de-camps : Col. 
Dwight Hall, Col. Hezekiah Hall, Major O. I. Martin, 
Turhan Cooke and Samuel Cooke, Esqs. 

The procession, under the escort of the National 
Blues, with the New Haven and Wallingford Bands, 
proceeded on its march to the Congregational church. 
The procession passed into the church in due form, the 
Orator of the day, Thomas Yeatman, Esq., the officiating 
Pastor of the Church, Rev. Mr. Gilbert, and the Presi- 
dent ascending to the Pulpit. The choir then sung with 
excellent effect, accompanied by the organ, the words : 
"My country 'tis of thee," &c. 

The Rev. Mr. Gilbert then read the looth Psalm, and 
offered an appropriate prayer, after which the President 
announced the Orator, Thomas Yeatman, Esq., of New 
Haven. Mr. Yeatman, in the course of his oration 
which was compact and brilliant, gave some details of 
the life and character of Mr. Hall, and of his service to 
his country at a period when the possibility of her 
national independence was surrounded with doubts and 
difficulties which required unwearying effort and perse- 
verance to overcome. At the conclusion of the oration 


the procession was again formed, and after a march 
through the principal avenues of the town, reached the 
Depot, where the marble tablet was received and was 
conveyed in the line to the Burying Ground, near the 
centre of which was the monument on which the slab 
was to be placed. Around it the military formed a 
square, within which Gov. Holley took his position, and 
delivered an eloquent address. Three guns were then 
fired in honor of LYMAN HALL, and his associate signers 
of the Declaration in Georgia. 

The Declaration of Independence was then read from 
the monument by Henry Lyman Hall, a grand-nephew 
of Dr. Lyman Hall. The band then played a dirge and 
the procession took up its line of march for dinner. Be- 
fore leaving the cemetery we will describe the monu- 
ment. Upon a mound of earth, handsomely turfed, is a 
large flat freestone, which is nearly nine feet long by six 
feet wide. Upon this rests a very large block of free- 
stone, nearly three feet high, with rounded corners and 
handsome mouldings, on the fourth side of which is this 
inscription : 

" The State of Georgia having removed to Augusta the re- 
mains of LYMAN HALL, a signer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, and there erected a monument to his memory, the 
tablet originally covering his grave was in 1857 presented by 
Wm. D'Antignac to this State, by whose order it is deposited 
in his native town." 

Upon the tablet, which is of white marble of nearly 
three inches thickness, is the following inscription : 

" Beneath this stone rest the remains of the Hon. LYMAN 
HALL, formerly Governor of this State, who departed this 
life the igth of October, 1790, in the 67th year of his age. 
In the cause of America, he was uniformly a Patriot. In the 


incumbent duties of a husband and a father, he acquitted 
himself with affection and tenderness. 

"But reader, above all, know, from this inscription, that he 
left this probationary scene as a true Christian and an honest 

" To those so mourned in death, so loved in life, 
The childless parent, and the widowed wife, 
With tears inscribes this monumental stone, 
That holds his ashes, and expects her own." 
Arriving at the pavilion, the company were soon seat- 
ed at the tables, which were spread for a thousand per- 
sons, and every seat was occupied. These tables were 
protected from the sun by the shade of the trees and a 
cloth awning. They were bountifully spread and care- 
fully attended by the ladies of Wallingford. The Presi- 
dent called the company to order, after which the divine 
blessing was invoked by the Rev. David Root. The 
wants of the appetite having been satisfied, patriotic 
toasts and speeches followed. The following were among 
the sentiments offered : 

ist. The day we celebrate the glorious birthday of a 
nation. It was immortalized in 1776 by the act of dele- 
gates from 13 States ; it is celebrated to-day by thirty 
millions of freemen. 

2nd. The memory of Washington. It is enshrined in the 
hearts of a grateful people. 

3d. The memory of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration 
of Independence. They inscribed their names with their 
own hands on the tablet of immortality. 

4th. Lyman Hall, the friend of human rights, the advocate 
of freedom a signer of the immortal Declaration. His 
fame is embalmed in the hearts of the people who commemo- 
rate this occasion by placing his tomb-stone among the graves 
of his ancestors. 

5th. The President of the United States. 


6th. The Governor of Connecticut. 

7th. The heroes and statesmen of the Revolution. The 
fruits of their glorious deeds increased with each returning 

8th. The press a pioneer in the cause of American 
freedom. May it be as true to the principles our Fathers 
established, as it was quick to give the signal to strike down 
the oppressor. 

9th. Connecticut as she is now. She now exports men 
to every State in the Union. 

roth. State courtesies. To Georgia Connecticut sends 
grateful thanks, for honor paid the memory of a patriotic son; 
his monument in his adopted State, and his tomb-stone in his 
native State are memorials of lasting friendships between 
sister states. 

nth. North, South, East and West. "What God hath 
joined together, let not man put asunder." 

1 2th. Our free schools. The index of the enlarged and 
intellectual views of the citizens of our commonwealth the 
foundation for permanancy and prosperity in our civil 

i3th. The fair, the mother, sister, wife and daughter. The 
tenderest ties which bind us to life. Our salvation and hope 
in youth our bliss in manhood our solace in old age. 
How unfortunate the man destitute of her influence in either 

The company dispersed in season for an early tea, 
after which the festivities were further continued by a 
splendid display of fireworks. The day and its associa- 
tions will be long remembered by those who participated 
in them. The whole arrangements were highly credit- 
able to the citizens of Wallingford, and none deserve 
more praise than the ladies, who spared no pains to 
make the occasion one of happy memories. 




CHESHIRE was originally a part of Wallingford, and 
was made a society in 1723, consisting of about thirty- 
five families. In 1718 Homer Brooks, Stephen Hotch- 
kiss and Mathew Bellamy, complained to the General 
Assembly that 

" By reason of the distance from the town and difficulty 
in the way, we are under great disadvantage to appear on the 
public worship of God and also for Edicatmg our Children," 

and petitioned that they might have the privilege of 
setting up worship for themselves, and be constituted 
a parish. Messrs. James Wadsworth, Nathaniel Yale, 
and Samuel Bishop, were appointed by the Assembly 
to examine into the affairs of the " West Farmers," 
as they were called. They found the number of fam- 
ilies to be about forty-five, " including in ye numb'r 
sum few new beginners that have not famelys," and 
the value of estates to be about two thousand pounds, 
and thought best that they still remain with the town of 
Wallingford. But the question of separation was still 
agitated, and in 1723 the district was constituted a 
society. The west society had considerable trouble to 
fix a situation for their meeting-house, so they petitioned 
the General Assembly, 


" That having made some essays to fix the place for the 
Setting the first meeting House for S d worship and finding 
our endeavors of that kind to be attended with some difficul- 
ties and dissatisfaction among ourselves, we have unanimously 
agreed to address the Hon ble assembly and do accordingly 
thereby pray that a Committee Chosen be appointed by this 
assembly may fix and determine the place for building the 
first meeting-house in our society. Signed, 


A committee of three was appointed, the ground se- 
lected, and the first church built in 1724. The second 
church was built in 1738, on the public common, and the 
present one was built in 1 826. The following have been 
pastors : 

SAMUEL HALL, T Dec., 1724, died Feb., 1776. 

JOHN Foox, 2 Mar., 1767, " Aug., 1813. 

HUMPHREY H. PERRINE, June, 1813, dismissed Apr., 1816. 

JEREMIAH ATWATER, D. D., Apr., 1816, " July, 1817, 

died July, 1858. 

M. KELLOGG, Nov., 1818, " Nov., 1819. 

ROGER HITCHCOCK, Sept., 1820, died Jan , 1823. 

LUKE WOOD, Dec., 1824, dismissed 1826. 

JOSEPH WHITING, Oct., 1827, " Dec., 1836. 

ERASTUS COLTON, Jan., 1838, " July, 1843. 

DANIEL MARCH, Apr., 1845, " Nov., 1848. 

DANIEL S. RODMAN, Oct., 1849, " Dec., 1854. 

C. W. CLAPP, May, 1855, " May, 1857. 

1 Rev. Samuel Hall was graduated at Yale College in 1716, where he 
was a tutor from 1716 to 1718; was ordained pastor of the church in 
Cheshire in Dec., 1724, and died in 1776. He preached the Election Ser- 
mon in 1746, which was published. His daughter Ann, married Nov 
13, 1752, Warham, second son of Rev. Stephen Williams. 

2 Mr. Foot was ordained colleague pastor with Mr. Hall. 


DAVID ROOT, Oct., 1857, dismissed April, 1859. 

J. S. C. ABBOTT, April, 1860. 

The number of male members of the church at first 
was eleven. In 1770 it had three hundred male and 
female members, and at that time Mr. Hall had baptized 
2013. The number of births in forty-seven years was 
2500 ; deaths 700. The first deacons of the church were 
Stephen Hotchkiss and Joseph Ives. On the resigna- 
tion of the latter, Timothy Tuttle was chosen, and on 
the death of Deacon Hotchkiss ( Deacon Tuttle resign- 
ing) Edward Parker and Stephen Hotchkiss (son of the 
first of that name) succeeded. 

Mr. Foot received into the church 603, baptized 1767, 
and buried 1 109. Mr. Whiting received into the church 
241, baptized 165 ; Mr. Colton received into the church 
139, and baptized 61. Mr. Hitchcock had been a dea- 
con of the church, and stipulated that one-fifth of his 
salary of five hundred dollars should be reserved by the 
society annually, and put at interest for the future sup- 
port of the ministry. He was taken sick one year after 
his settlement, and was never afterwards able to preach. 
Calls were extended (not accepted) to Revs. John 
March, in 1817, Cornelius Tuthill, in 1818, Handel Nott, 
in 1826, Judson A. Root in 1827, and Dwight M. Seward 
in 1842. There was a continuous revival under Mr. 
Whiting's ministry, also in 1838 and 1858, which added 
88 and 104 to the church. 

In 1751 Rev. Ichabod Camp formed an Episcopal 
Society in Cheshire, and for a time services were read 
by a layman named Moss. In 1760 a church was built, 
and Mr. Camp again preached for the society. In 1761 
the society was supplied by Rev. Samuel Andrews, and 
in 1770 a larger church was built. In 1786 Mr. An- 



drews went to Nova Scotia. The church was afterwards 
supplied by the following clergy : 

In 1788, Reuben Ives ; 1820, Dr. Bronson and Rev. Mr. 
Cornwall, principal and assistant of the academy, preached ; 
1825, Mr. Cornwall ; 1828, Henry M. Mason, C. F. Cruse, 
Rev. Dr. Judd ; 1835, E. E. Beardsley; 1840, new church 
erected] 1841, Wm. F. Morgan; 1841, Frederick Miller; 
1843, E. E. Beardsley; 1848, Joseph H. Nichols; 1852, 
Hilliard Bryant ; 1865, Julius H. Ward ; 1868, E. M. Pecke. 



In 1869, 83 families were connected with the society ; 
127 communicants, and 66 scholars in Sunday-school. 



The project of establishing an Episcopal Academy in 
the Diocese of Connecticut, was formed soon after the 
consecration of Dr. Seabury to the Episcopate. He, in 
common with his brethren of the clergy, felt most keenly 
the want of some literary institution where the sons of 
the church might receive a thorough classical education 
without endangering the religious predilections of their 

It was a period of strong prejudice, and no little 
intolerance. The war of the Revolution had just closed, 
and the favor which the Episcopal clergy and their 
people had generally shown toward the mother-country 
in that struggle, was calculated to strengthen the preju- 
dice of the dominant sects in the land. The ministers 
of the church were missionaries of the " venerable 
society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign 
parts," and the oath of allegiance which they were re- 
quired to take previous to their ordination, and the 
peculiar relations in which they stood to the Bishop of 
London, made it in their view, as unnatural for them to 
resist the pretentions of the crown of England as for a 
child to oppose the wishes of its parents. If this were 
not a sufficient excuse for their loyalty, it should have 
palliated in some degree the heinousness of the offence, 
and spared the church from subsequent hostility on their 
account. The bishop and clergy might have been urged 
to the establishment of an institution of their own, by 
the illiberal policy of Yale college at that time. 

The first record relating to the establishment of the 
Episcopal Academy was made in 1792. At a conven- 
tion of the clergy holden at East Haddam, on the i5th of 


Feb. of that year, it was voted, " that the several clergy 
make inquiry of their neighboring towns and see what 
can be done toward erecting an Episcopal Academy, 
and report at the next convention." This resolution 
received only a verbal response, for nothing is found re- 
corded until the year 1 794, when the convention taking 
hold of the matter went earnestly to work, appointed a 
committee to prepare an address to the members of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church of this state, pointing out 
the importance of establishing an Episcopal Academy ; 
at the same time instructing them to provide subscrip- 
tion papers for the purpose of obtaining the necessary 
funds to support such an establishment. This commit- 
tee were required to report the next morning ; and they 
reported that they had attended to the business assigned 
them, and recommended that a standing committee be 
appointed to prepare an address to be sent out among 
the people, pointing out the importance of such an 
institution, and to present a plan of the Academy, with 
subscription papers for raising funds for it. The Rev. 
Doctor Mansfield of Derby was chairman of this com- 
mittee, and at the next annual convention held at 
Stratford, June 3, 1/95, subscriptions from Wallingford 
and Cheshire were returned which were so favorable, 
that it was resolved to go on with this work at once and 
establish an Episcopal Academy. 

A subsequent committee was appointed to receive 
proposals from the towns of Wallingford, Cheshire and 
Stratford only, until the first day of July, at which 
time they were to meet at Major Bellamy's tavern in 
Hamden, and locate the institution in that town which 
they should consider the most eligible. At the same 
convention the Rev. John Bowden, Rev. Ashbell Bal- 



dow and S. W. Johnson, Esq., were appointed to draft a 
code of by-laws for the temporary government of the 
institution till the next annual meeting of the conven- 
tion, and also to form a constitution upon the most 
liberal and beneficial plan, together with a code of by- 
laws for the future government of the Academy, all to be 
submitted to the next general convention for considera- 
tion and approbation. 


At the annual convention held at Cheshire, June i, 
1796, the subject of the Academy was brought out and 
discussed, and a board of twenty trustees appointed. 
The latter proceeded to ballot for a principal of the 
Academy, and the Rev. Dr. John Bowden was unani- 
mously elected. He accepted the call and entered on his 
duties as soon as the building was ready. The corner 
stone was laid with masonic honors, on the 28th day of 
April, 1 796. On that occasion the late Rev. Reuben Ives, 
through whose influence more than to any other one 
man the Academy was established at Cheshire, delivered 


an address, and was followed by the Rev. Dr. Tillotson 

The building was completed in 1796, at a cost of 
^702 lawful money. The principal was required to 
teach or cause to be taught the English language, 
Philosophy, Mathematics, and every science usually 
taught at colleges ; likewise the dead languages, such 
as Greek and Latin, and then French was to be 
taught whenever the funds became sufficient ; also a 
library was to be purchased and a philosophical appara- 
tus as soon as the funds would justify the expense. 
The principal had liberty to employ at any time with 
the advice of the trustees any gentlemen eminent in 
Divinity, Law, or Physics, to read lectures in these 
branches provided a fund be procured for that purpose. 
It was no doubt the intention of the founders to erect 
it into a college, and many of the donations were made 
upon this supposition, and some of the books now in 
the Library the gift of private benevolence are la- 
belled, " Seabury College in Connecticut." 

The first legitimate attempt made toward raising a 
fund for the endowment of the institution was in 1797-8. 
In the latter year a committee was appointed by the 
convention to ascertain the grand levy of the church in 
Connecticut, and a treasurer to receive all donations that 
might be procured. By a formal vote the convention 
appropriated to the benefit of the Episcopal Academy 
the money that had been previously collected for the 
purpose of sending Missionaries to the frontiers of the 
States. The next year, Bishop Jarvis alluded to the 
subject in his annual address, and measures were adopt- 
ed to solicit aid, generally from the churchmen of the 
diocese, and to send an agent to Europe with a similar 


object in view was recommended to the trustees as 
soon as they have the means. The agency to Europe 
was never accomplished. 

On the 1 4th day of April, 1801, the trustees met at 
Cheshire and resolved to petition the first Assembly 
then about to convene at Hartford, praying that they 
might be made and constituted a body politic, and cor- 
porate, by the name of the Trustees of the Episcopal 
Academy of Connecticut ; Dr. Bowden stating that 
since the month of June of the year 1796 it had been 
open for the reception of students, and had generally in 
the course, sixty students. The funds amounted at this 
time to about three thousand dollars. The act of incor- 
poration was passed, and the number of students was 
increased. Every thing was now prosperous and favor- 
able to the success of the Academy. But a shock was 
given, when Dr. Bowden intimated that he should resign 
his office of principal, and accept the more compatible 
station of Professor of Moral Philosophy and Belles- 
Lettres in Columbia College, New York. This was in 
the beginning of 1802 ; and at a special convention held 
at Cheshire, April 12, of the same year, his resignation 
was accepted, and the Rev. Dr. Wm. Smith was unani- 
miously elected to supply his place. He entered at 
once upon his duties. 

Dr. Bowden was the eldest son of Thomas Bowden, a 
Major in his Brittanic Majesty's 46th regiment of Foot. 
His early life was full of incident, as his middle age was 
of trial. At the time of his birth, Jan. 7, 1751, his 
father's regiment was stationed in Ireland. On the 
breaking out of the Old French War the major came to 
this country and made Schenectady, N. Y., his head- 
quarters. His son John soon after followed him, under 


the charge of a clergyman of the church of England. 
He entered the college at Princeton, N. J., where he 
remained two years. The fortunes of his father called 
him to return home (to England). In 1770 at the age of 
nineteen he again crossed the Atlantic and immediately 
entered King's college, now Columbia, where he gradu- 
ated in 1772. He was ordained in 1774 deacon, and was 
elected assistant minister in Trinity church, N. Y. Upon 
the breaking out of the revolutionary war the city 
churches were closed and the clergy scattered, and Dr. 
Bowden retired to Norwalk, Ct. He continued in the 
office of Professor until his death, July 31, 1817, at Ball- 
ston Springs. 

Dr. William Smith entered upon his duties as princi- 
pal of the Academy in the spring of 1802. The institu- 
tion was in a flourishing condition. Efforts had been 
made to increase the funds, and regarding then the 
procedure as perfectly consistent with the dictates of 
Christian morality, a resolution was taken in April, 1801, 
to prefer a petition to the General Assembly for a lottery 
to raise the sum of four thousand pounds, to enable the 
trustees to purchase a library and a philosophical appa- 
ratus, and support assistant instruction. This application 
was unsuccessful, as was also another the next year, to 
obtain a lottery to raise a larger amount the sum of 
twenty-eight thousand dollars. But during the October 
session of the Legislature of 1802, the matter was more 
judiciously prepared, and the act was finally passed, 
granting a lottery to raise the sum of fifteen thousand 
dollars. After considerable delay and perplexity, and no 
little loss in the sale of tickets, the managers closed 
their drawings, and the net proceeds amounted to twelve 
thousand dollars. 
E E 


The financial affairs of the institution being thus im- 
proved, its friends began to turn their attention to the 
original design of erecting it into a college. In 1804, 
obedient to a vote of the convention, the board of trus- 
tees resolved to petition the General Assembly for a 
charter empowering them to confer degrees in the arts, 
divinity and law, and to enjoy all the privileges of a col- 
lege. This application failed, and was not again renewed 
during the administration of Dr. Smith. Though a man 
of learning, he seems not to have had the requisite 
qualifications of a teacher. The institution gradually 
languished under his care, and losing the confidence of 
the public, the annual convention in 1805 appointed a 
committee to inquire into the present condition, and 
make an immediate report ; this report is spread at large 
upon the journals of that year. On the 5th day of June, 
Dr. Smith resigned ; his resignation was accepted, and 
the convention, without appointing a successor, adjourned 
to meet at Newtown the eighth day of October. The 
missives that passed between Dr. Smith and the Trus- 
tees were not, as may be inferred from the tenor of his 
letter, altogether of a pleasant nature. Dr. Smith was 
a Scotchman, and received his education at one of the 
Universities of his native country. He left College with 
a good reputation as a classical scholar. He came to 
this country in 1787, and entered upon the duties of 
Rector of St. Paul's church and congregation, at Narra- 
gansett, R. I., where he continued three years. After 
leaving Cheshire he returned to New York, and the 
remainder of his days were passed between that city 
and Connecticut 

The Rev. Tillotson Bronson was appointed to the 
Academy, and for the first fifteen years of his adminis- 


tration the institution flourished and enjoyed a large 
share of the public confidence and patronage. In 1810 
another petition was made for college privileges, but 
failed of success. It was again renewed and passed the 
house, but failed in the Senate. Dr. Bronson was born 
in 1762. He graduated in 1786. Ordained by Bishop 
Seabury 1786, and Priest Feb. 24th, 1788. Christian F. 
Cruse was elected to the Academy in 1831. In 1832 
Rev. Dr. Judd was elected principal. He resigned in 

In 1836 the Rev. Allen C. Morgan was elected prin- 
cipal, under whose administration the Academy flourish- 
ed. He died suddenly in New York, on the 7th of 
Nov., 1838. The Rev. Ebenezer E. Beardsley was next 
appointed to the charge. After him came the Rev. Seth 
B. Paddock ; then the Rev. Hillyard Bryant ; then Rev. 
Mr. Ballard, who was succeeded by the Rev. Dr. Horton, 
under whose administration the institution has flourished 
and been greatly enlarged by additional new buildings. 
Dr. Horton is now ( 1870), the principal of the Acad- 
emy, which is in a highly prosperous and flourishing 




THE Connecticut State Reform School, situated in 
Meriden, New Haven County, was authorized by the 
Legislature of 1851, and an appropriation of ten 
thousand dollars made for it on the condition that the 
people of the State donate an equal sum to establish 
and build the same. The location of the school was 
fixed in Meriden in 1852, and the building erected in 
1853. The amount of land purchased was about 150 
acres, of various parties, but- principally of Salmon 
Merriam. The buildings are situated on a commanding 
eminence, one half mile north from the depot in Meriden, 
in full view of the Hartford and New Haven rail-road, 
overlooking the city and the surrounding country, and 
presenting one of the finest landscape views to be seen 
in the vicinity. In the front lies Mount Lamentation, 
with its precipitous caps and peaks, stretching in a lower 
range to the south below Black Pond, and gradually 
terminating in a succession of bluffs near Long Island 

In the rear are the Cold Spring and the Hanging Hills 
Peaks. Between these, or in the interval, lies the farm, 


delightfully situated, highly cultivated, and the pride and 
admiration of all who behold it 

The administration of the school on the part of the 
State is vested in a board of eight Trustees, one from 
each county in the state, elected for four years. Two 
of them are retired each year and their places are filled 
by the Senate in executive session. The Trustees 
elect Superintendent and other officers. The first Su- 
perintendent was Philemon Hoadley, elected in 1853. 
The second, Roswell Hawley, M. D., elected 1855 ; the 
next and present one, E. W. Hatch, M. D. The long 
continuance of Dr. Hatch in the position, is proof con- 
clusive that the people of the state are satisfied with his 
administration ; in effective management, economy, and 
progress, the institution ranks second to none in the 

Mr. Saxton B. Little was elected Assistant Superin- 
tendent in 1854, and was the first elected to that office, 
and still holds the position. He has proved himself one 
of the most successful educators of the age. With the 
class of boys that he has had no one could have done 
better, and the teachers are rare that could have done so 
well. Mr. Lucius P. Chamberlain was appointed farmer 
in 1857, and right well has he filled the position. He 
believes in progress, and acts up to his belief in his prac- 
tice. He is one of the neatest, best, and most successful 
farmers in the state. His work on the state farm shows 
it, and any one can have an ocular demonstration of the 
fact, by visiting the farm. Mr. John B. Porter as an officer 
has been connected with the school for the last thirteen 
years, and has proved himself a valuable assistant and 
a good efficient worker in the cause of reform. The 
above are worthy of mention as having held their posi- 


tions for a long time, and discharged their duties 
faithfully. The other officers are capable and efficient, 
and doing a noble work for the State. 

The first boys were received in 1854; and up to April 
i, 1870, 1515 had been received. They are many of 
them filling situations now as valuable citizens in almost 
every State of the union. The boys are taught in all of 
the branches usually taught in the common schools. 
The classes will compare favorably with the classes in 
any of the schools of the State. 

The citizens of the State may well be proud of this 
noble Institution. It is one of its noblest chanties ; no 
effort which the State can make in the right direction to 
improve its citizens can be wasted ; and to take vicious 
boys and educate them to be good citizens, is worthy 
the best efforts of the State. 




THE first settlers of Connecticut came with but slender 
provision for the ills that awaited them. The pastor of 
the flock was the chief shepherd to whom they all looked 
for protection, and the teacher upon whose instruction, 
in sickness and in health, they mainly looked for guid- 
ance. In the year 1652 the General Court granted the 
first medical license, by which Thomas Lord was author- 
ized to practice physic and surgery in Hartford and 
adjoining towns. Fifteen pounds was to be his annual 
salary so long as he devoted his time and attention to 
the sick and suffering members of the colony. The fee- 
table of Dr. Lord as established by the General Assem- 
bly, he having promised to charge no more, deserves to 
be transcribed : 

" Thos. Lord having engaged to this court to continue his 
abode in Hartford for the next ensuing year, and to improve 
his best skill among the inhabitants of the towns upon the 
river, within his jurisdiction, both for setting of bones and 
otherwise, as at all times, occasions and necessities may re- k 
quire. This court doth grant, that he shall be paid by the 
country the sum of fifteen pounds for the said ensuing year, 
and they also declare that for every visit or journey, that he 
shall take or make, being sent for, to any house in Hartford 


12 pence is reasonable; to any house in Windsor, five shil- 
lings ; to any house in Wethersfield, three shillings ; to any 
house in Farmington, six shillings ; to any house in Matta- 
besock or Middletown, eight shillings, (he having promised 
that he will require no more,) and that he shall be freed, for 
the time aforesaid, from watching, warding and training, but 
not from finding arms according to law !" 

Dr. Lord died in 1662. He came to Wallingford often 
on professional business, and was also called to New 
Haven. Rev. Gershom Bulkley of Wethersfield, who 
was quite noted as a physician, and for a time was sur- 
geon in a company raised to resist the aggression of 
their Indian neighbors, attended to the sick in Walling- 
ford and vicinity. It is worthy of notice that the first 
case of medical jurisprudence in the colony, perhaps the 
first in the country, was referred to him for an opinion. 
Mary Brown of Wallingford was brought to trial for the 
murder of her son. As it was known that she had been 
subject to paroxysms of insanity, the court and the jury 
were in some perplexity relative to their own course of 
proceeding. To relieve themselves from this embarras- 
sing position the court granted leave to the jurors to 
consult the most learned men in the colony and obtain 
their advice. They applied to Dr. Bulkley, whose char- 
acter as a divine, whose opinion as a physician, and 
whose judgment as a magistrate were all held in high 
estimation. The following is the summary of his 
opinion : 

" If she were not compos mentis at the time of the fact it is 
no felony, and consequently no wilful or malicious murder ; 
and if she be known to be a lunatic, though she have her 
lucid intervals, there had need be very good and satisfactory 
proof that she was compos mentis at the time of the fact com- 
mitted, for the law favors life." 


The legal opinion from which the above extract was 
taken was in advance of the age, and probably averted 
the doom of the unhappy woman who was on her trial 
for the murder of her child. 1 Dr. Bulkley died at Glas- 
tenbury in the year 1713, at the age of seventy-eight. 
From an inscription upon his " obscure and modest 
grave-stone" in the church-yard at Wethersfield, it ap- 
pears that he was regarded as a man of rare abilities and 
extraordinary industry, excellent in learning, master of 
many languages, exquisite in his skill in divinity, physic' 
and law, and of a most exemplary and Christian life. 

Dr James Hurlburt of Berlin, who was born in the 
year 1717 and had his office in Berlin near the line of 
the Hartford and New Haven Rail-road, had nearly all 
of the practice in the surrounding twenty miles. Dr. 
Jared Potter of Wallingford was one of the most dis- 
tinguished physicians in the State, and the teacher from 
whom many eminent members of the medical profession 
received instruction. 2 He was a speculating theologian, 
and his speculations were of an infidel character ; and 
it is said that his pupils, whatever progress they made 
in medical studies, generally left Dr. Potter's office with 
minds tinged with skeptical notions. In 1775 he was 
chosen surgeon of the first regiment of Connecticut 
forces, from whence it may be inferred that he was dis- 
tinguished as a surgeon as well as a physician. His 
memory at this time is more associated with one of his 
own favorite remedies. Potter's powder has been for sixty 
years and over, a popular remedy with the physicians of 

1 Dr. Summer's Address at the 49th Annual Convention of the Conn. 
Med. Soc. 

2 One of Dr. Potter's students was Lyman Norton, who commenced 
practice in Durham in 1797. 


Connecticut, but as employed in former days, it con- 
tained charcoal as well as the three ingredients, camphor, 
ammonia and chalk. By this combination he acquired 
the same reputation which adheres all the world over, to 
the combination of Dr. Dover. He was instrumental in 
forming the New Haven Co. Medical Society in 1784, 
and also the State Medical Society. 1 

In October, 1717, Dr. Benjamin Hull 2 petitioned the 
General Court as follows: "Y e petishion of Benjamin 
Hull of Wallingford sheweth y i your petishioner having 
for some time practiced phisisik," requests the assembly 
to grant him permission to practice in Wallingford. 
Previous to 1800 there were in Wallingford Drs. Isaac 
Lewis, Isaac Bull, Isaac Hall, Gad Pond, Ebenezer 
Bardsley, Wm. B. Hall, Bilious Kirtland and James 
Porter. Dr. John Dickinson, son of Rev. Moses 
Dickinson of Norwalk, began practice in Wallingford, 
but soon removed to Middletown, from which town he 
was sent Representative to the Legislature in the time 
of the Revolution. He died in 1811, aged eighty-two 
years. Dr. Wm. Brenton Hall, a native of Wallingford, 
graduated at Yale College in 1786, and commenced 
practice in his native town, but removed to Middletown 
where he died in 1809. 

Dr. Aaron Andrews was a son of Denizen Andrews 
and was born in the Meriden society. He settled as a 
physician in Wallingford, and built the house where he 
resided and which was afterwards occupied by his son 
Drake Andrews, and Leander Parmalee, and which is 
now owned and occupied by Samuel B. Parmalee. Dr. 

1 See Biographical Sketches in this volume. 

2 John Hull came from Derby with two sons in 1686. He located 
himself on the top of Town Hill. 


Andrews was considered a very skillful physician, and 
as such was highly respected. 1 His son, Dr. John An- 
drews, was for many years a very successful physician 
in Wallingford. He married Abigail Atwater, and for 
many years resided in the house now remodelled and 
occupied by Roderick Curtiss. After the death of his 
wife, he married Anna, daughter of Rev. James Noyes. 
After her decease he went in his old age to Ohio and 
lived with his son William, where he died in his eighty- 
sixth year. He was buried in Wallingford, as he had 
requested. 2 Dr. Jared P. Kirtland came to Wallingford 
in 1814 and remained about three years. 3 

Dr. Ambrose Ives was born in Wallingford, Dec. 30, 
1786. He was the son of Abijah Ives, a respectable 
farmer, and the grandson of Abraham Ives. Dr. Ives 
was favored with fair advantages for a good English 
and sufficient classical education. He pursued the 
higher branches at the celebrated academy located in 
Cheshire. After finishing his preliminary course, he 
commenced the study of medicine under the tuition of 
the late Dr. Cornwall of the same town. From a class- 
mate of Dr. Ives, we have learned that he was a labori- 
ous student, thorough in all the branches of professional 
reading in which he was engaged. He was, as in after 
life, extremely frugal of his time, and being favored with 
a retentive memory, he made excellent progress in his 
studies. In the year 1808, after completing his medical 
pupilage, he was licensed to practice medicine and sur- 
gery, and then located in the town of Wolcott, where he 
diligently applied himself to his professional duties dur- 

1 See biographical Sketches in this volume. 

2 See Biographical Sketches in this volume. 

3 See Biographical Sketches in this volume. 


ing a period of nineteen years. He removed from 
Wolcott to Wallingford in the year 1827, for the pur- 
pose of settling up his deceased father's estate. Here 
he remained two years, at the expiration of which time, 
he removed to Plymouth, Litchfield county, where he 
resumed the practice of medicine. In the last named 
place he soon acquired a large practice, in which he con- 
tinued until the year 1834. At this time he relinquished 
his practice entirely and removed to Waterville, and be- 
came interested in the manufacture of gilt buttons, and 
took charge of the business. In 1837 he removed to 
Waterbury, and in 1839 so ^ out hi 8 interest in Water- 
ville. Soon after he bought into the company of Brown 
and Elton, and continued, in this connection till his de- 
cease, but without himself engaging in the management 
of the business. In the last year of his life he was 
afflicted with paralysis. He died in the year 1852, at 
the age of 66. 

Dr. Ives was a man of medium height, not tall, but 
stout, and in the latter part of his life became somewhat 
corpulent. He was an efficient town officer, serving his 
townsmen in different capacities. Several times he 
represented the inhabitants of Wolcott in the Legislature 
of the State. In the year 1818 he was a member of the 
convention for the formation of the constitution of this 
State. As a physician, Dr. Ives was sound, discriminat- 
ing and skillful, the result of thoroughness and precision, 
the leading characteristics of his mind, made manifest 
in all his avocations. No practitioner in the vicinity in 
which he lived, was more deservedly esteemed for strong 
common sense and matured judgment. As a business 
man he was enlightened, sagacious and stable. Few 
men understood human nature more perfectly, or could 


see farther into the course of events depending on the 
human will. By able management and financial skill 
he succeeded in acquiring a large property. In con- 
versation he was shrewd, intelligent and facetious. 
He had a fund of anecdote and illustration, and 
abounded in witty and humorous remarks. Few were 
more companionable or instructive. He was married 
in the year 1817 to Miss Wealthy V. Upson of 
Wolcott. 1 

Dr. Moses Gaylord was an eminent surgeon in 
Wallingford, for many years devoting his whole time 
to that branch of his profession. Dr. Gaylord was tall 
and rather spare looking, with thin face and large nose, 
and when riding horseback as was his habit, or when 
walking, was bent forward. He was a student of Dr. 
Jesse Cole of Durham. 2 Dr. Gaylord died of a cancer 
on his face, and was quite advanced in years. 

Dr. Friend Cook was a son of Samuel and Mary 
Cook of Wallingford. He prepared for college at the 
Wallingford and Cheshire academies, where he ranked 
high as a scholar, and entered Union College, Schenec- 
tady, N. Y. After he had graduated, he entered the 
Medical department of Yale College, and was a pupil of 
the late Dr. Nathan Smith. After having received his 
degree of M. D. in 1821, he located himself at Windsor, 
Connecticut, where he soon had a successful practice, 
which he was compelled to surrender on account of his 

1 Proceedings of Conn., Med. Soc., 1860, p. 67. Bronson's History of 

2 Dr. Gaylord was probably of the Plymouth branch of Gaylords. He 
married Jemima Tyler of Wallingford, and had Tyler, who died in the 
state of New York ; Harriet, who m. Noah Lindsley of Meriden, and 
Nancy, who m. Israel Harrison. 


health. After spending some time at the South, he re- 
turned to his native town, and again commenced prac- 
tice. But in a few years his failing health compelled 
him to relinquish his practice, and he removed to 
Atwater, Ohio. Here he practiced his profession for 
some time, but finally had to give it up. After a long 
illness he died February 8, 1857, aged sixty years, of 
cancer of the stomach. He married Abigail, daughter 
of Joshua and Elizabeth Atwater. 

13. F. HARRISON, M. D. 

Benjamin F. Harrison, M. D., was born in what 
was then the town of Bran ford, and the parish of 
Northford, in the year 181 1. His father Elizur Harrison, 
and his mother Rebecca Bartholomew were also natives 
of the same place. His father was a farmer, and he 
was occupied on the farm until his eighteenth year, after 
which he was occupied with studies and teaching until 
the first of March, 1836, when he was graduated at the 
medical school in New Haven. Soon after he went to 
New York to continue his studies for a time, -but in 
June he went to Old Milford where he commenced 
practice with Dr. French, but was induced to leave 


there and come to Wallingford in September of the same 
year, viz., 1836. Here he remained extensively engaged 
in his profession for ten years, when in September, 1846, 
he sold his residence and left his business to Dr. William 
Atwater, a former pupil, and early the next month sailed 
from New York for Havre, where he arrived November i , 
and proceeded directly to Paris, where were still living 
most of the eminent physicians and surgeons of that 
country who had distinguished themselves by their works 
and writings during the early part of this century. In 
the schools and hospitals of Paris he pursued his pro- 
fessional studies with more assiduity than ever until 
May, 1847, when he left France and visited most of 
what were then the small states of Italy. In midsummer 
he returned by Switzerland, Germany and Belgium to 
Paris, and in August to England, and in September 
sailed from Liverpool for New York. Arriving home in 
October, he spent the remainder of the year in visiting 
various parts of the country, and finally selected an 
office in Cincinnati, Ohio. Circumstances afterwards 
prevented his settling there, and in February, 1848, he 
opened an office in New Haven, but in May was per- 
suaded to take again his former residence and business 
in Wallingford. Here he remained in active business 
until after the war broke out, and in August, 1862, was 
commissioned as surgeon to a New York regiment then 
in the field at Yorktown, Va., where he immediately 
joined the regiment, and remained with it in the service 
in Virginia, North and South Carolina, until the regiment 
finished its service in 1864. After this time Dr. Harri- 
son served the Sanitary Commission for a few months 
in Florida, and South Carolina. At the close of 1864 
he was again in Wallingford, resuming his old residence 
F v 


and continuing the practice of his profession, until the 
present time. During all his long residence in Wall- 
ingford, Dr. Harrison has taken active interest in the 
public schools. He was married June 8, 1837, to Susan 
Lewis, daughter of Frederick Lewis of Wallingford. 
She died September 10, 1839, leaving an infant daughter 
who also died seventeen years after. He again married 
June 20, 1 868, Virginia V. Abelle, of Franklin, Conn. 
She died December 27, 1869. 


Dr. Nehemiah Banks came to Wallingford in 1852. 
He was graduated at the Yale College medical school in 
1844. In 1856 he purchased the Judge Pomeroy place 
He has had a large practice, and has been a very suc- 
cessful practitioner. 

Dr. Henry Davis came to Wallingford in 1870, 
and bought the place formerly owned by O. I. 

Dr. Baldwin, a Botanic physician, has practised in 
Wallingford for several years. 



Few are the recorded data for biography which ordi- 
narily survive the life of the practitioner of medicine in 
country districts. The uniform and familiar character 
of his vocation affords but scanty material for the adorn- 
ment of general history. Being more familiar with 
prescriptions than the pen, or more brilliant exploits of 
war or legislation, his fame is lamentably prone to expire 
with the memories and lives of those who have enjoyed 
the benefit of his professional labors. 1 

The first physician in Meriden was Dr. Isaac Hall. 
He was a son of Jonathan and Dinah Hall, was born 
July n, 1714, and died March 7, 1781, ae. 66 years. 
He married Mary Morse, Nov. 5, 1739, an ^ had six 
children, one of whom, Jonathan, was a physician. He 
resided, while living, quite in the easterly part of the 
town, on that road which now passes the residence of 
Deacon Hezekiah Rice. Dr. Ensign Hough was the 
son of Daniel and Violet (Benton) Hough, was born 
Sept. i, 1746, and commenced practice in Meriden in 
1769. He lived near the center of the town. He was a 
short, lively man, a good physician, and well known and 
highly esteemed. He died Dec. 3, 1813, ae. 67. Mercy, 
his wife, died Feb. 6, 1820, ae. 72. He left two sons, 
Ensign Jr., and Isaac. The last studied medicine and 
commenced practice in Meriden in i8o2. 2 He died Feb. 
26, 1852, ae. 71. During his residence in Meriden he 
had a large practice, but retired from the active duties 
of his profession in comparatively early life. Sally 
Bradley, daughter of Dr. Ensign Hough, died Aug. 11, 
1864, ae. 85 years. 

1 Dr. Blakeman's Address before the Conn. Med. Soc., 1853. 

2 See Biographical Notices. 


Dr. Wyllys Woodruff commenced practice here in 
1825, in connection with Dr. Hough. He was born in 
Southington, Aug. 6, 1801, and was a son of Isaac Jun., 
and Abigail (Clark), Woodruff. He studied medicine 
with Dr. Jacob Brace of Newington, and Dr. Julius S 
Barnes, of Southington, and was graduated at the Yale 
College Medical School in 1823. He married ist, Jane 
Curtis, and 2nd, Mary Lewis. After Dr. Woodruff's 
death, she married Henry C. Butler, of Meriden. Dr. 
Woodruff had two daughters ; the oldest married Thomas 
Hubbard. Dr. Woodruff was a slender built man, with 
light hair and eyes. His attention was given wholly to 
his business, yet he was of a very social disposition, fond 
of anecdote, and also took an active interest in church 
affairs. He died of typhoid fever March 31, 1842, uni- 
versally beloved for his many estimable qualities, and 
highly esteemed for his medical skill. 

The day that Dr. Woodruff died, a message was sent 
to Haddam by some of the leading citizens of Meriden, 
for Dr. Benjamin H. Catlin to come to Meriden and take 
the practice of Dr. Woodruff. He came here April i, 
made arrangements for his removal, and commenced 
practice here April 5, 1842. He is now (18/0) in full 
practice. 1 

Dr. Andrews commenced practice here, living, in the 
old house west of the residence of Aaron Collins. He 
afterwards built the house now owned and occupied by 
Sidney Hall. He was succeeded by Dr. Gardner Bar- 
low, a graduate of the Yale College Medical School, of 
the class of 1845. Dr. Barlow died of consumption in 
1854, in the forty-seventh year of his age. He built the 

I See Biographical Notices. 


house now owned by Dr. Tait. He was a man well 
posted in his profession, of few words, indomitable 
energy, and although possessing delicate health, had a 
larger practice than any other physician in the town in 
his day. Dr. Morris was here in 1829, for about two 
years. He returned again in 1832, but remained but a 
short time. He bought and lived in the house of the 
late Walter Booth, on South Broad Street. Dr. Brown, 
a Thompsonian doctor, came here from New Britain, and 
lived in the house now occupied by A. H. Curtis on 
South Broad Street. He remained here a few years and 
removed to Ohio. 

Dr. William H. Allen was born in Hebron, Conn., in 
1819. He studied medicine with Dr. Stratton of Mid- 
dletown, and afterward with Dr. Lapham of New York. 
After practising in New Britain one year and in Goshen 
about six months, he removed to Meriden in 1840, suc- 
ceeding Dr. Fields, who had practised here about a year. 
He first lived in the house then occupied by Dr. Fields, 
and occupied now by Mr. Charles Parker, on the corner 
of Main and High streets. Dr. Allen died of typhoid 
fever, Sept. 4, 1850. He was about five feet seven 
inches in height, and weighed about one hundred and 
seventy-five pounds. He had dark hair and eyes and a 
very high forehead, was of a social disposition, fond of 
company, and well read and skillful as a physician. He 
built the house now occupied by Mr. Levi Butler, 
corner of Main and Center streets. He left four chil- 

Dr. Edward W. Hatch came to Meriden in December, 
1849, an d retired from practice in 1859, to assume the 
office of Superintendent of the State Reform School." 

I See Biographical notices. 


Dr. H. A. Archer was born in Carlisle, Cumberland 
County, England, April 8, 1820. He came to this coun- 
try November i, 1824. His father, William Archer, 
soon became a citizen of the United States by legal pro- 
cess, which made all of his sons who were minors 
citizens also. His early days were spent upon his 
father's farm in Webster, Mass., and there he became 
acquainted with Rev. John Parker, now of Meriden, 
who at that time was one of the most prominent 
preachers of the Methodist conference. In June, 1843, 
D-. Archer entered the office of Dr. Amos Beecher of 

H. A. ARCHER, M. D. 

Barkhamstead, Conn., as a medical student, there pur- 
suing his studies until the autumn of 1846, when he en- 
tered the medical school of Yale College. At that time 
Col. Dexter R. Wright, formerly of Meriden, now of 
New Haven, who has since distinguished himself as an 
advocate and counselor at the Connecticut bar, was a 
student in the law school. In 1847 Dr. Archer grad- 
uated and received his degree from the medical college 
of Kentucky. In the spring of 1847 he commenced 


practice in the town of Wethersfield, Conn., continuing 
there until January, 1850, when upon the invitation of 
some of the most prominent citizens of Meriden, he re- 
moved here and continued in practice until the autumn 
of 1857, when he sold out to Dr. John Tait and removed 
to Brooklyn, N. Y. 

Dr. John Tait, the successor of Dr. Archer, was his 
assistant for a short time, and finally succeeded him in 
practice. He bought the house built by Dr. Barlow and 
afterward owned by Dr. Archer, which he remodeled a 
few years ago. Dr. Timothy F. Davis came here in 
1850, succeeding Dr. Wm. H. Allen, and for eighteen 
years had a large and successful practice. 1 Dr. Lewis 
Barnes came to Meriden in 1852, and had his office in 
the Meriden Bank building. He removed in a short 
time to Oxford, Conn., where he now resides. Dr. W. 
N. Dunham, a homoeopathist, came here in 1856, re- 
mained a short time, and disposed of his practice to Dr. 
C. W. Ensign who came from Tarifville. Dr. M. F. 
Baldwin was herein 1856. Dr. G. Herrick Wilson, of 
the school of Hahneman, came here in 1857, and has 
built up a large practice. Dr. Roswell Hawley was in 
Meriden in 1858. Dr. Asa Hopkins Churchill, a graduate 
of the Yale Medical school in 1857, succeeded Dr. E. 
W. Hatch in 1859. 

Dr. James Wylie was born in Kilwinning, Ayreshire, 
Scotland, in 1829. He was graduated in surgery from 
the University of Glasgow in the session of 1852-3, and 
in 1853 came to this country. In 1854 he commenced 
practice in Meriden. In 1868 he took a medical and 
surgical degree from a medical school in Philadelphia, 
and returned to Meriden where he still practices. 

I See Biog. Notices. 


Dr. Nehemiah Nickerson, a graduate of the N. Y. 
Medical School, came here for the second time in 1865, 
and was for a time associated with Dr. Wylie. After 
about three years he went to Missouri, and returned 
again to Meriden in 1870, and is now practising here. 
Dr. Frederick Fitch, a graduate of the Bellevue Hospital 
Medical School, came here in 1866. Dr. J. J. Averill, a 
graduate in 1866 of the Yale Medical School, came here 
in 1866. Dr. John McMahon, a graduate of Harvard 
University Medical School, came here in 1867 and re- 
moved to Boston in 1869. Dr. Charles H. S. Davis, a 
graduate of the New York University Medical School, 
came here from Baltimore in 1867, succeeding his father 
in the practice of his profession. Dr. Bodyfield came 
here in 1869, but removed to New Britain in a short 
time. In 1870 Dr. Hamlin, a graduate of the Bellevue 
Hospital Medical School, Dr. Charles Mansfield and Dr. 
E. Newport, the last two Homeopathists, commenced 
practice in Meriden. 

When Dr. Isaac Hough commenced practice, the 
usual fee for visits was twenty-five cents. In Dr. Wood- 
ruff's time it was three shillings ; obstetrical fee three 
dollars. When Dr. Catlin commenced practice here the 
fee was fifty cents, but soon went up to seventy-five cents. 
Soon after Dr. T. F. Davis commenced practice the 
usual charge was one dollar, then one dollar and twenty- 
five cents. In January, 1868, the Meriden City Medical 
Association adopted the following fee table : 

"For first visit each day, $i 50 ; subsequent visit same 
day, $i oo ; visit to Hanover, $2 oo ; visit at night from 10 
P. M. to 6 A. M., $2 oo ; detention during nights, $3 oo 
to $5 oo ; visit in consultation, $3 oo ; obstetrical fee $10 oo ; 
obstetrical fee with instruments, $15 oo ; travel per mile from 


city limits within five miles, 50 cts. ; vaccination, $i 50; 
vaccination at office $i oo ; office advice, 75 cts.; reducing 
fractures, $5 oo to $15 oo ; reducing dislocation, $3 oo to 
$15 oo. 

" The foregoing Table contains the standard fees of the 
Medical Profession of Meriden. They shall be increased 
according to the judgment of the practitioner concerned, in 
all cases of extraordinary detention or attendance. Also, in 
proportion to the importance of the case, the responsibility 
attached to it, and services rendered when these are extraor- 
dinary. They shall be diminished at the discretion of the 
Physician when he believes the patient cannot afford to pay 
the regular fees, and yet is able to make some compensation. 
It shall however be considered as unprofessional to diminish 
the standard fees with a view to mercenary competition." 




IT has been said that no people that holds labor in deris- 
ion can maintain its position for three centuries. Too 
many people spend their time and waste their substance 
upon vain projects for getting rich without labor. Physi- 
cal labor was cherished by all classes of our ancestors 
with great care. They found themselves obliged to fell 
the trees and till the ground, that they might have bread. 
Agriculture has been the chief resource and occupation 
of a majority of the people, but such is the surface of 
our town, so much of it is covered with rocky and barren 
ridges, that if we had remained exclusively an agricultural 
town, our population would not have increased, and our 
pecuniary circumstances would have been equally 
cramped. Yet our fathers were satisfied if they could 
obtain enough from the ground to support their families. 
Their wants were few and easily satisfied. They manu- 
factured their own garments, and the hand-card and spin- 
ning-wheel were in nearly every habitation. Here lived, 

"The good old farmer . . . 
In his ancestral home a Puritan 
Who read his Bible daily, loved his God, 
And lived serenely in the faith of Christ. 

. . . His life had run 
Through varied scenes of happiness and woe ; 



But, constant through the wide vicissitude 
He had confessed the giver of his joys, 
And kissed the hand that took them." 

The prosperity of Meriden is due in a great degree to 
its manufactories. In 1791 Mr. Samuel Yale began to 
manufacture cut nails. He and his son worked in a 
small shop on the hill, near the present site of the Center 
Congregational church. Their little machine was worked 
by their own hands, and each nail was " headed " sepa- 
rately and by hand. About the year 1794 Mr. Yale 
commenced the manufacture of buttons on a small scale. 
They were made of pewter, and would be considered by 
us a coarse and rough article. But at that time they 
met a ready sale. For a long time only two or three 
men were employed in the business. 1 


Ivory combs were first made in this country by An- 
drew Lord, of Saybrook, Conn., about eighty years ago. 
He cut out the plates and the teeth by hand with a 
hand-saw ; a slow and expensive process. John Graham 
of Boston, and Mr. Tryon, of Glastenbury, made ivory 
combs about the same time, on a small scale ; the latter 
person using machinery. Ezra and Elisha Pratt, of 
Hartford, also manufactured the article about seventy- 
five years ago, cutting the teeth by hand, like Mr. Lord. 
Abel Pratt, of Saybrook, made ivory combs seventy-two 
years ago. He sawed the plates by hand, and two hun- 
dred and fifty were considered a good day's work ; where- 
as by the present improved processes, over four thousand 
can be sawed out in one day by one man. He cut the 
teeth, however, with circular saws, and machinery moved 

I Perkins. 


by hand, and afterwards by wind. Ezra Williams also 
commenced the same business in Saybrook soon after 
Mr. Pratt, and began to saw the plates by machinery 
moved by water-power. This establishment afterwards 
was known by the name of George Read & Co. Great 
improvements have been made there in the machinery, 
and at one time nearly all the ivory comb business in 
the country was done by that firm. Various other 
attempts to carry on this business have been made, most 
of which have not succeeded. At the present time, 
most of the ivory combs made in America, are manu- 
factured in Connecticut, and nearly two-thirds of the 
whole are made in Meriden. 

The business was commenced in Meriden in 1819, by 
Merriam & Collins, who used the best machinery 
known at that time. Their establishment was not long 
continued. Howard, Pratt & Co., began to manufacture 
ivory combs in Meriden in 1822. This firm was after- 
ward known as Julius Pratt & Co. Walter Webb & 
Co. commenced the business in 1831 ; Philo Pratt & 
Co., in 1836. The business of the latter firm was sub- 
sequently transferred to Walter Webb & Co., and Mr. 
Pratt became a partner. October 6, 1863, Julius Pratt 
Si Co. united their interest with George Reed & Co. 
and Pratt Brothers & Co., of Deep River, forming a 
joint stock company, with a capital of 175,000 dollars, 
under the name of Pratt, Reed & Co. This company at 
their manufactories at Deep River and in this town, 
now turn out from 15,000 to 20,000 combs daily, or over 
six millions annually, besides an endless amount of 
piano and melodeon ivory, etc. Quantities of the combs 
are exported to all parts of North and South America, 
and some are sent to England. 




The history of Wallingford would not be complete 
without some account of the manufacture of electro- 
plated wares which constitute so conspicuous a part in 
the industrial interests of the town. Indeed, the present 
prosperity and hopes of future growth in population and 
wealth are so largely dependent upon the enterprises 
connected with this manufacture, that we should not do 
ourselves justice to omit so important a feature of the 
town. This industrial department embraces the various 
manufactures of white metal, pewter, britannia, silver- 
plated and electro-plated wares. 

Among the prominent names of manufacturers of 
pewter and britannia wares in this section, at an early 
day, were those of Boardman, Yale and Griswold. The 
Boardmans located at Hartford ; Griswold at Meriden ; 
and Charles and Hiram Yale in Wallingford. In the 
early history of their business their goods were sold 
chiefly by peddlers. The best pewter ware was a com- 
pound of English tin, known as block tin, and lead, in 
proportions of about one-fifth lead to four-fifths tin. 
The poorer quality contained more lead and antimony 
and less of tin ; and hence more scouring was required to 
keep the wares bright. At first these wares rarely ex- 
tended beyond plates, platters, basins, mugs, spoons, etc. 

The power at first employed was of a truly primitive 
character, being a balance-wheel turned by a crank in 
the hand of a man. A lathe was connected with this 
balance-wheel by means of a belt. On this lathe the 
wares were turned and burnished. The spoons were 
used either in the rough state as they came from the 
mould, or were scraped by hand and burnished. With 


the exception of the spoons these goods were sold by 
the pound and not by the dozen ; and they were known 
by the dealers as weight ware. 

The Yales were enterprizing and progressive men, 
and soon took the lead in the manufacture of pewter ; 
and they imported from England some skilled artizans 
from the britannia establishments, where the wares 
were made of a superior compound known as britannia 
metal, from which lead was excluded altogether, and 
metals of a harder, and firmer texture were used ; and 
hence they were susceptible of receiving and retaining 
a high polish of which the pewter was incapable. 

By this means the Yales took the lead in the manu- 
facture of britannia goods, such as tea-sets, church 
service, etc. ; and it is noteworthy how different the 
manner of working this metal was in those days com- 
pared with what it is now. Then it was all cast in 
moulds of the shape desired. The wares were then 
considered very fine ; and the art of compounding the 
metal was of great value. 

The demand for this ware became so great that even 
horse-power was insufficient, and a resort to water- 
power became necessary. These men purchased a 
water-power known as Tyler's Mills, in the early settle- 
ment of New Haven County. At this mill, flouring of 
grain and dressing of cloth were accomplished for the 
surrounding country ; and it was located on the Quin- 
nipiac river in the north part of Wallingford, at a place 
now known as Yalesville. This power was improved by 
the erection of a new and substantial dam across the 
entire stream. New and commodious buildings were 
also erected for a business now becoming more and 
more extensive. 


At this juncture the art of spinning britannia met- 
al was introduced into this country. An Englishman 
by the name of Seignor instructed some apprentices 
in the art. And the apprentice system, after the 
custom of Great Britain, was now adopted by this 
company. The apprentice was bound for five years or 
seven years to learn the trade in all its branches ; and at 
the close of the apprenticeship the profound secret of 
compounding and fluxing the metal was imparted. 

Samuel Simpson, the senior partner of Simpson, Hall, 
Miller & Co., served an apprenticeship with this firm, 
beginning April i, 1829; and before its termination, 
Hiram Yale, the junior partner, died. Soon after this, 
Charles Yale, the surviving partner, went into a decline, 
which was precipitated by various misfortunes and dis- 
couragements. Soon after the expiration of Mr. Simp- 
son's apprenticeship Mr. Yale proposed to him and Mr. 
Williams, his former foreman, that they should manufac- 
ture the goods. This arrangement went into effect on 
the ist of January, 1835. Mr. Yale died the same year. 
Mr. Williams soon after went to Philadelphia, and Mr. 
Simpson remained as successor to the Yales, continuing 
the manufacture of the same and other lines of goods. 
He continued the business until January i, 1847, when 
he sold his manufactory to John Munson, who had been 
with him a number of years. 

About this time the art of electro-plating was intro- 
duced and applied to britannia with very favorable prom- 
ise. Mr. Simpson soon after purchased the old and 
well known water-power next below Yalesville on the 
Quinnipiac river, previously occupied for cloth-dressing 
and wheat-flouring, and known as the Humiston mills. 
This place is about half a mile west of the railroacj 


depot in Wallingford. The place was fitted up by Mr. 
Simpson for the manufacture of silver plated ware. 
Instead of casting in moulds as formerly, the metal was 
rolled into sheets and cut up into required sizes, and 
shaped by means of chucks and dies fitted to the spin- 
ning lathe and the power press. By this process the 
white metal, after plating, is susceptible of a finish as 
fine and almost as durable as sterling silver, and at a 
cost of not more than about one-fifth. 

At this period plated wares were generally imported 
under the name of Sheffield plate. This was commonly 
plated on copper under the old process of close plating. 
For a while electro-plating in this country encountered 
a deep-seated prejudice. But a test soon satisfied the 
most skeptical, that silver put upon rolled white metal by 
the voltaic battery was both beautiful and durable. 
These facts being well established, the difficulty 
of selling the goods was at an end ; and the electro-plat- 
ing excitement began. 

On Jan. ist, 1833, John Munson, to whom Mr. Simp- 
son had previously sold the manufacture of common 
britannia goods in Meriden, associated with him two 
enterprising young men by the name of Wilcox, and 
under the joint stock law organized an incorporated 
company by the name of the Meriden Britannia Compa- 
ny. This new company, energetic, enterprising, and 
fully alive to passing events, induced Mr. Simpson to 
stock his business with theirs. This arrangement took 
effect Jan. i, 1854. After this Mr. Simpson took an 
active part in the new company, and was not known 
separately in the market until 1866, when the Meriden 
Company proposing to build a large shop near their 
office in Meriden and to concentrate all their works to- 


gather, Mr. Simpson, after careful deliberation in the 
exercise of his best judgment, dissolved his connection 
with them, preferring to remain at his old establish- 
ment in his native town. 


On the 2nd of July, 1866, Mr. Simpson associated 
with him some practical business young men and some 
skilled artizans, under the name of Simpson, Hall, Miller 
& Co. From such an origin and under such favorable 
auspices, there is now established in Wallingford a 
business of great importance to the welfare and pros- 
perity of the town ; one which may be regarded among 
the foremost for general utility, and which may be 
classed among the fine arts. The prospects now are 
that the manufacture of white metal, for which Walling- 
ford has been noted for the last fifty years, will be en- 
tailed and handed down to other generations, with all 
improvements in the wares, workmanship, plate and 
finish, and the rigid attention to business, and the 
honorable and liberal dealing of the present pro- 


Since the manufacture of plated spoons and forks, &c. 
on German or nickel silver has become so extensive a 
business, and its use so general, it may be interesting to 
know when and where the article originated in the 
United States. We suppose that there can be no ques- 
tion but that the first spoon made was from metal mixed 
or compounded by ROBERT WALLACE, now of the firm of 
Wallace, Simpson & Co., of Wallingford, Conn. Mr. 
Wallace obtained the recipe for the composition of a 
foreigner, and procured the nickel and other necessary 


ingredients in New York in 1836, he at this time being 
but a mere boy, and in the employ of Deacon Aimer Hall, 
of Wallingford, who manufactured britannia or pewter 
spoons. After melting a few pounds of the different 
metals together agreeable to the recipe, he took the 
compound to one of the mills in Waterbury, and had 
it rolled into a sheet suitable to form conveniently into 
spoons. He had it worked up by a practical sterling 
silver worker into a few spoons. It proved to be a good 
thing, looking nearly as well as sterling silver, and if 


anything, more substantial. Mr. Wallace showing what 
he had done to Deacon Hall, Mr. Hall at once saw the 
utility of the article, and immediately took means to 
secure the services of Mr. Wallace and other practical 
men, and in a small way commenced the manufacture 
of tea and table spoons. For some time the sale of 
them was mostly confined to trunk peddlers, who at that 
day infested the country, and sold their ware from house 
to house. 



In 1838, Mr. Hall associated with William Elton and 
others, under the name and firm of Hall, Elton & Co. 
Mr. Wallace was under contract with this company a 
number of years, when in 1855, he associated with Mr. 
Simpson and the other stockholders of the Meriden 
Britannia Company, and formed a limited copartnership 
for ten years, under the name of R. Wallace & Co., 
starting the manufacture of German or nickel silver 
in Mr. Simpson's factory, located on the Quinnipiac 
river, known as Humiston's mills ; and at the expira- 
tion of the ten years the same individuals incorporated 
under the joint stock law under the name of 


The Meriden Britannia Company contracted from the 
beginning to take all the manufactured articles produced 
by the new firm ; and by improving the water-power 
and building an enlarged factory with new and improved 
machinery, they are now able to turn out about one 
thousand dozen spoons, forks etc., daily, under the direct 
supervision of Mr. Wallace, who it is generally admitted 
cannot be surpassed as a manufacturer, either in point of 
quantity or quality. 

Now from the small beginning by Mr. Wallace thirty- 
three years ago, besides the large business done by 
Wallace, Simpson & Co., the firms of Hall, Elton & Co., 
and Charles Parker Esq. each have establishments 
making a large amount of the same kind of goods in 
Wallingford. Then there are two large establishments 
in Waterbury in the same business, one in Wolcottville, 
one in East Haddam, and one in Taunton, Mass. 
Probably all told, not less than three thousand gross are 


put into the market daily, amounting to nine hundred 
thousand dozen, or ten millions eight hundred thousand 
single articles in the year, and this in addition to the 
millions of brass, iron, tin and britannia, to say nothing 
of the sterling silver goods. But when we think of fifty 
millions of people who use spoons and forks, it may not 
seem so strange that one out of five has a new plated 
one every year. 


The Meriden Britannia Company was established in 
1852, the factory at that time being near the site of the 
substantial buildings which compose the present exten- 
sive series of factories. The warehouse in New York 
has been at 1 99 Broadway since 1 860. The factory embra- 
ces several buildings, the chief one being the most impos- 
ing structure in the city. Its dimensions are 527 feet by 
40. The whole number of buildings is about half-a-dozen. 
They are principally of brick, built especially for the 
varied purposes of the business, and are nearly all four 
stories in height, and occupy four acres of ground in the 
heart of the city. In the busiest seasons there are em- 
ployed in all the various departments about nine hun- 
dred experienced operatives of both sexes. The value 
of the merchandise usually on hand at one time at the 
factory and warehouse is about $1,000,000; and this 
estimate is independent of the immense amount of costly 
machinery, tools, etc., employed in the manufactory. 
The annual sales of the company and the various 
companies they own a controling interest in, average 
$2,500,000; and the goods are now sent to the trade 
not only throughout the United States, but largely to 
the British Provinces, West Indies, South America, 


Mexico, Pacific Coast, and even to England, France, 
parts of Africa, to Australia and to China. The 
specialities, or leading lines of these goods are nickel 
silver and fine white metal electro-plated wares. All 
these are enumerated and elaborately illustrated in the 
price-list and appendix issued by the house ; one edition 
of which, inclusive of the numerous splendid engravings, 
cost them nearly $40,000. This item alone is signifi- 
cant of the liberality and enterprise of the company. 
Another fact worthy of note is that they manufacture 
more pieces of nickel silver and table ware than all other 
similar establishments in the world combined, outside of 
Connecticut. This company manufacture of nickel 
silver, 20,000 pounds per month ; of white metal goods, 
from 40,000 to 50,000 pounds per month ; and during 
twelve months in 1868 and 1869 they used in electro- 
plating over $200,000 worth of pure silver. 

On our tour through the establishment, which by the 
way, comprises one mile of flooring forty feet in width, 
we were particularly struck with the huge size of much 
of the machinery, for instance, the rollers, which are the 
largest used in this kind of business in the United 
States ; one press for raising and imparting the orna- 
mental figures to the wares, weighing 26,000 pounds, and 
having a stamping and pressing power of perhaps 400 
tons. The amount of coal used is about 1,500 tons per 
year. The most important part of the machinery used 
was made expressly for the company and patented by 
them ; and one additional evidence of the excellence of 
the manufactures is found in the fact that the older 
members of the concern have had constant practical 
experience in the business for between thirty and forty 
years. The officers of the company are as follows : 


Secretary ; GEORGE R. CURTIS, Treasurer ; ISAAC C. 
LEWIS, Superintendent. 


One of the most extensive manufactories in Meriden 
is that of Mr. JEDEDIAH WILCOX, President of the cor- 
poration of J. Wilcox & Co., whose history supplies 
another addition to the remarkable instances of success- 
ful enterprise. Mr. Wilcox commenced the manufacture 
of carpet-bags in 1848, and labored industriously in the 
business until 1850, and had at that period accumulated 
a capital of only $1,500. He then associated with him- 
self a partner who contributed an equal sum ; and that 
year their sales amounted to $75,000. This partnership 
however, did not continue beyond the year, when Mr. 
Wilcox purchased his partner's interest and continued 
the business, which rapidly increased, and in 1853 he 
admitted two partners, establishing the firm name of J. 
Wilcox & Co., which is still retained. The manufacture 
of ladies' belts was soon added to the business. Mr. 
Wilcox not only attended to the general business of the 
firm, but himself sold all the goods manufactured, which 
sales soon amounted to $300,000 per year. A large 
number of hands were employed in the factory, and 
teams were run through this and all the adjoining towns 
delivering work, and thus hundreds of families were 
furnished employment. 

In 1858 the manufacture of hoop-skirts was com- 
menced, which soon became so much in demand that 
the sale of these alone soon amounted to $300,000 
per year. For several years, skirts and corsets were 
the leading articles of the firm's manufacture. The prin- 



cipal factory was then situated on the corner of Pratt and 
Camp streets, having a front of 160 feet, and an average 
depth of 1 15 feet. At this factory about four hundred 
dozen skirts were made daily, and a proportionate quan- 
tity of corsets. Two other shops in town were also en- 
gaged in making skirts for the firm. There were over 
five hundred hands employed. In 1860 it being difficult 
to obtain the tape used in the manufacture of skirts, a 
building 135 by 40 feet, two and one-half stories high, 
was erected a few rods south of the other buildings in 
Pratt street, and filled with woolen machinery for the 
manufacture of balmoral skirts. An extensive dye- 
house and other buildings were soon added, and a large 
boarding house for the convenience of the operatives. 
The firm now consisted of five members, and in 1864, 
was organized into a joint stock corporation with a capi- 
tal of $200,000, the stockholders and directors being 
Jedediah Wilcox, Hezekiah H. Miller, Charles H. Col- 
lins, Eli I. Merriman and Edmund N. Wilcox. In 1865 
the capital stock was increased to $300,000, and the 
company were doing a very large and profitable business, 
when the works were destroyed by fire on the third 
of May, 1865. This was the largest fire which ever 
occurred in Meriden, destroying $250,000 worth of 
property. It was however well insured, and the company 
immediately commenced erecting the splendid brick 
mill on the opposite side of the street, which is filled 
with costly machinery for the manufacture of various 
kinds of woolen goods, in which 500,000 pounds of 
wool is consumed yearly. The company manufacture 
large quantities and various styles of ladies' cloakings, 
shawls, flannels, balmoral skirts, cassimeres, etc., and so 
high do these goods stand in the market that they are 


often compelled to run their works nights to fill their 


CHARLES PARKER commenced the manufacture of coffee- 
mills in 1832, in a factory 25 feet by 40, two stories high, 
with horse power. He now occupies sixteen different 
buildings, with dimensions as follows : No. i, office and 
plating room, 18 feet by 45. No. 2, coffee-mill and 
burnishing shop with additions, 20 by 26, used as a store 
and varnish room ; also addition for a coffee-mill shop, 1 5 
by 25. No. 3, spectacle shop, 20 by 108. No. 4, tobacco- 
box shop and friction rollers. No. 5, coffee-mill shop, 
etc., 25 by 30, with addition, used as a store and varnish 
room. No. 6, vise shop, 25 by 160. No. 7, engine and 
boiler-room, 29 by 48. No. 8, finishing shop, 24 by 100. 
No. 9, store-house, 60 by 100. No. 10, screw shop, 30 
by 200. No u, foundry, 66 by 360, with additions. 
No. 12, blacksmith-shop, 16 by 20. No. 13, coal house, 
20 by 20. No. 14, annealing shop, 20 by 20. No 15, 
coffee-mill shop, 30 by 45, with additions, 28 by 25, for 
oiling shop ; also a japanning room, 10 by 15. No. 16, 
packing-room and carpenter-shop, 30 by 30. These 
buildings have been built from time to time as the busi- 
ness increased and demanded more room. The motive 
power is furnished by an 80 horse-power Corliss engine. 
Mr. Parker has, in connection with business here four 
other concerns controlled by him ; one located two miles 
east of the city, one two miles west, one two miles south, 
and another half a mile west, where there are made iron 
spoons, ladles and forks, scales and hinges, machinery 
and guns, britannia spoons, and German silver spoons 
and forks ; employing at these four concerns at different 
localities about three hundred persons, besides two 


hundred which are occupied in manufacturing coffee-mills, 
screws, spectacles, eye-glasses, tobacco-boxes, vises, butts, 
lanterns, match-safes, faucets, iron bench-screws, scis- 
sors and shears, cranks and rollers, barn-door hangers 
and rollers, gate and plain hinges, gridirons, bed-keys, 
wagon-jacks, scrapers, pulleys, lamp-hooks, window- 
springs, thumb-latches, hammers, gimlets, call and 
hand-bells, &c. 

Probably there is no manufactory in the country that 
manufactures such a variety of goods as Mr. Parker. 
Among other inventions and improvements introduced 
to the public by Mr. Parker, is a breech-loading, double 
barreled shot-gun, which is the result of over two years of 
the most thorough experiments, and is claimed to be the 
best gun in use in this or any other country. The bar- 
rels are self-locked. The advantages claimed for his 
cartridge are, that it is a central-fire, coned, metallic 
cartridge, and is capped with the ordinary percussion 
caps. The weight of the gun is from 7 1-4 to 7 3-4 Ibs. 
In connection is the United States Screw Company, 
incorporated in 1863, owned by Mr. Parker. The ma- 
chinery for this branch of his business is all new and of 
the most approved kind. 


The business of this house dates its origin as far back 
as the year 1834, when its pioneers, Messrs. G. & D. N. 
Ropes were engaged in the manufacture of cutlery in 
the state of Maine. They were the earliest manufac- 
turers of American cutlery. A few years afterward Mr. A. 
R. Moen of New York, commenced the manufacture of 
table cutlery in Wethersfield, Conn. His business passed 
into the hands of Messrs. Julius Pratt and Co., of 
Meriden, and they conducted it for about two years, hav- 


ing their office in Water-street, New York. In 1845 a 
company was formed in West Meriden which consoli- 
dated the business of the two establishments under the 
firm style of Pratt, Ropes, Webb & Co., Mr. D. N. 
Ropes having been the junior partner of the pioneer 
house. He erected a factory in Hanover, where the firm 
carried on the business till 1855, when the present joint- 
stock company was formed, and succeeded to the business 
under the now well-known name of the Meriden Cutlery 
Company. The factory consists of a series of substan- 
tial buildings, occupying from four to five acres of ground, 
its vast workshops being about six in number. The 
buildings comprising the main works and wing are 
four stories high, 300 feet by 36 ; the forge shop is one 
story, 1 60 feet by 38 ; the tempering house one story, 80 
feet by 20 ; the joiner's repair shop two stories, 50 feet 
by 25 ; the plating house two stories, 45 feet by 36 ; and 
the steel and store-house two stories, 70 feet by 30. A 
new and commodious building for the business offices 
has recently been erected. On other portions of the 
grounds the company have built numerous tenements 
which already accommodate some sixty families of their 
operatives, while the building which constitutes their 
boarding-house provides for at least one hundred men. 
The number of men employed ranges from 300 to 400. 
The company use water-power exclusively. This is sup- 
plied by their dam, the overflow of which is nearly 200 
feet wide, and equal to 300 horse-power. The works 
are supplied with a turbine wheel which cost about 
$6,000 before leaving the establishment where it was 
made. The coal used by the company and consumed 
chiefly in the forge department, amounts to over 800 
tons a year. The steel is both of American and English 


production. The materials for the handles, such as 
pearl, ivory, rubber, horn, and such woods as cocoa, 
ebony and rose, are all imported. The rubber is vul- 
canized in this country. The goods manufactured by 
this house embrace about five hundred different styles. 
Mr. J. C. Breckenridge, who died in April, 1870, was 
.connected with the works for twenty-two years. He 
entered the establishment as a mechanic, and by his own 
energy and abilities rose by degrees to be foreman and 
finally superintendent, which post he occupied for about 
ten years. 


Nathan F. Goodrich commenced the manufacture of 
japanned and tin ware about forty years ago, in a build- 
ing twenty by fifteen feet. The business was continued 
two years, when the firm was Goodrich & Rutty, and 
remained under that name till 1852, when Eli Ives and 
Elias Howell were admitted, making it Goodrich, Ives 
& Rutty. Mr. Goodrich retired in 1864, and Edwin 
R. Crocker and Nelson Payne were admitted, making the 
firm Ives, Rutty & Co. They occupy a two story building 
built in the form of a hollow square, 330 by 28 feet. 
They employ seventy persons, and use 4,000 tons of 
tin annually. The manufactory is located nearly a mile 
from the Meriden Post-Office, south. 


The firm of Edward Miller & Co. was incorpora- 
ted in 1866 with a capital of $200,000. EDWARD MILLER, 
President, F. J. SEYMOUR, Secretary, and W. H. PERKINS, 
Treasurer. The manufacture is principally lamp trim- 
mings for oil, fluid and kerosene lamps, besides 
numerous articles from brass, copper, German silver, 
H H 


iron and britannia. An extensive rolling mill is also 
connected with the works ( the building being 70 by 
140 feet), erected in the fall of 1868 for the manu- 
facture of brass for their own consumption. The 
main building is 210 by 40, with wing 100 by 40 feet. 
The motive power is furnished by a 150 horse-power 
engine, Corliss pattern, Harris's make, with three cyl-. 
inder boilers, 4 by 16 feet. This company use 300,000 Ibs. 
of brass, and do a business of $300,000 annually. This 
business was commenced about twenty years ago by 
Edward Miller, using foot and horse-power, making as a 
speciality candle-stick springs, which have continued to 
be made up to the present time, having barrels of them 
ordered in one day. 


The Meriden Malleable Iron Company was incorpo- 
rated in 1868, being successors of J. H. Canfield & Co., 
and Lyon, Augur & Co. The main building is of brick, 
31 by 73 feet, three stories, and is used for a finishing 
shop. There are besides two buildings adjoining, 50 by 
104 feet, and 40 by 1 10 feet, and another, 24 by 36 feet, 
all one story. The motive power is furnished by a thirty 
horse-power Corliss engine, made by Harris, with one 
cylinder boiler. The works are located near the railroad 
in the northern part of the city, and can be seen from 
the cars, which pass in close proximity to them. The 
concern employs sixty persons, and manufactures on an 
average, twenty tons of malleable iron and twenty tons 
of grey iron per month, besides house-furnishing hard- 
ware, etc., etc. 


Foster, Merriam & Co., incorporated in 1866, for the 
manufacture of furniture casters, with a capital of 


$80,000. The building is 100 by 30 feet, three stories high, 
with brass foundry attached, 30 by 30 feet ; iron foundry, 
built in 1865, of brick, 100 by 60 feet, with wing, 30 by 
40 feet. This company employs sixty persons, and turns 
out about 50,000 sets of casters per month, besides 
screws for piano stools, etc. They make 40,000 Ibs. of 
castings, and consume 40 tons of iron per month, the 
motive power being furnished by a 1 5 horse-power en- 
gine, built in 1849. This business was established about 
Secretary and Treasurer. 


The Parker and Whipple Co. was incorporated in 1868, 
with a capital of $100,000, being successors to Parker 
and Whipple, who are the officers of the company. The 
firm of Parker and Whipple commenced here in 1859 and 
continued so up to the date of incorporation. The main 
building is 75 by 100 feet, used as a lock shop. The 
foundry is 60 by 70, with wings, 30 by 40 feet ; a brass 
foundry, 30 by 25 feet, and other buildings are used in the 
prosecution of the business. The works cover about 
one half acre, and are situated about one mile west 
from the railroad. This company employs seventy per- 
sons, and uses 300 tons per year of iron, and 50,000 Ibs. 
of brass. They manufacture principally door locks and 
knobs, builders' hardware and trimmings. J. E. PARKER, 
President ; HENRY J. P. WHIPPLE, Treasurer. 


ELIHU HALL & Co. of Wallingford were incorporated 
January, 1864, for the manufacture of carriage wheels, 
spokes, hubs, &c., with a capital of $15,000. E. HALL, 
President, E. H. IVES, Secretary and Treasurer. This 


company are successors to E. Hall & Sons, who com- 
menced here in 1856, the business being previously 
established by the father in 1835. The main building is 
40 by 80, three stories, built of wood, with an addition 
30 by 50, two stories. This company manufacture 
about 400,000 spokes and 2000 sets of wheels per year. 
The works are located near the depot. 


was incorporated in 1856, with a capital of $15,000, for 
the manufacture of buttons of every variety. The 
manufactory is located about three quarters of a mile 
east of the depot, covering about one half an acre. The 
power is furnished by an overshot wheel, the fall here 
being sixteen feet. This company do a business of 
$20,000 per year. L. POMEROY, President; F. MILLER, 
Secretary and Treasurer. 


GAYLORD BROTHERS commenced business in Walling- 
ford in 1864, manufacturing gimlets and boring tools. 
Their building is about 30 by 50, two stories. They 
employ about fifteen persons. The power is furnished 
by a twenty-four feet breast wheel, the fall being twenty- 
one feet, located on Waterman's brook, a branch of the 
Quinnipiac, about one mile east of the depot. 


The Community Silk Factory in Wallingford was 
established in 1869. It is situated on a valuable water- 
power near the village, and employs about 30 hands in 
the manufacture of machine twist. The works are now 
( 1870) in process of enlargement. Amount of raw silk 
consumed annually, 3640 Ibs., valued at $36,000. 



E. D. CASTELOW commenced the manufacture of 
piano stools in 1860. He now occupies a building 75 
by 22 feet, two stories high, with wing 20 by 12 feet, one 
story high, located on Mechanic street, Meriden. Mr. 
Castelow employs seven persons, and consumes 25,000 
feet of lumber annually in the manufacture of his stools 
and the boxing of them ; turning out about nine dozen 
piano stools per week, besides stools for stores, shops, etc. 


S. S. CLARK commenced the manufacture of plain and 
japanned tin ware about the year 1838, the business hav- 
ing been established about fifty years previous. For the 
past year he has turned his attention to the manufacture 
of coal oil, tin and iron goods, lanterns and lantern 
trimmings. The building is on Main street, Meriden, 
and is 60 by 90 feet, two stories, and employs sixty 


C. ROGERS & BROTHERS commenced in 1865 the manu- 
facture of coffin trimmings, tea-pot knobs, spoons and 
forks, etc. They occupy a building 20 by 23 and 20 by 
.20, respectively. They do a business of about $30,000 
per year. 

A. H. MERRIAM commenced business in Meriden in 
April, 1868. He manufactures turning and drill lathes, 
presses, punches, etc. He employs five persons, and his 
works are run by a Corliss engine. 

WILMOT BROTHERS commenced the manufacture of 
elastic furniture and door fenders about 1860. The 
monthly productions are about $3,000 worth. 


CHARLES A. ROBERTS occupies a two story building 
20 by 30 feet, located on Crown-street, Meriden, for the 
manufacture of stationery goods, such as inkstands, pen- 
racks, bill-files, weights, etc. He commenced here in 1852. 

The WILCOX SILVER PLATE Co. was incorporated in 

1865. Capital $250,000. The PARKER & CASPAR Co., 
manufacturers of silver plated ware, was incorporated in 

1866, with a capital of $60,000. In 1869 this company 
became associated with the Wilcox Silver Plate Co. 

porated in 1867. Capital $75,000. 

G. I. Mix & Co. occupy a large factory at Yalesville in 
the manufacture of tinned iron spoons, and hollow ware. 

The QUINNIPIAC PAPER Co. are established at Quin- 
nipiac, two miles south of Wallingford village, for the 
manufacture of printing paper. 

In 1849 tne manufactures in Meriden were as follows, 
omitting the ordinary mechanic arts which furnished 
articles for~use in the town : 

JULIUS PRATT & Co.; ivory combs. Employed forty-two 
hands. WALTER WEBB & Co. ; ivory combs. Employed 
thirty-three hands. PRATT, ROPES, WEBB & Co. ; table 
cutlery. Employed seventy-five hands. CURTIS, MORGAN & 
Co. ; locks, latches, and small iron castings. Employed 
fifty hands. Raw material, annually consumed, $12,000. 
CHARLES PARKER, coffee-mills, latches, vises, britannia and 
plated spoons and various iron castings. Employed sixty 
hands. C. & E. PARKER ; brass and iron castings. OLIVER 
SNOW & Co. ; iron pumps, and all kinds of machinery to or- 
der. Employed twenty hands. FOSTER, MERRIAM & Co., 
casters, and a variety of brass and iron castings. Employed 
fourteen hands. Raw material, $8,000. JULIUS PARKER; 
harness trimmings, hinges and iron castings. Employed 


eight hands. HENRY M. FOSTER; Spring balances and 
steelyards. Employed three hands. JULIUS IVES; cast iron 
inkstands. Employed three hands. H. T. WILCOX ; steel- 
yards and bit braces. Employed seven hands. Raw material 
$7,000. SANFORD, PARMELEE & Co. ; augers, skates, rakes 
and bits. Employed forty hands. STEDMAN & CLARK ; 
plain and japanned tin ware. Employed forty hands. Raw 
material $20,000. GOODRICH & RUTTY; plain and japanned 
tin ware. Employed eighteen hands. Raw material $10,000. 
LAUREN T. MERRIAM; plain and japanned tin ware. Em- 
ployed twenty-five hands. Raw material $6,000. H. W. 
CURTIS; plain and japanned tin ware. Employed eight 
hands Raw material $6,000. CHARLES POMEROY ; plain 
and japanned tin ware. Employed eighteen hands. BLAKES- 
LEE, STILES & Co. ; plain and japanned tin ware. Employed 
four hands. CHARLES WATERMAN ; kettle ears and candle- 
sticks. Employed five hands. FRARY & BENHAM ; britannia 
ware. Employed ten hands. Raw material $20,000. WM. 
LYMAN ; britannia ware. Employed six hands. ISAAC C. 
LEWIS ; britannia ware. Employed eight hands. Raw ma- 
terial $8,000. S. L. CONE; britannia ware. Employed four 
hands. L. G. BALDWIN ; britannia ware and spoons. Em- 
ployed five hands. CROCKER & PRATT; brass and plated 
articles, like letters for signs, lamp chains, stove ornaments, &c. 
Employed twenty hands. EDWIN BIRDSEY ; wood turning, 
wooden combs and packing boxes. Employed fifteen hands. 
Raw material $8,000. BIRDSEY & WILLIAMS ; bone buttons. 
Employed twelve hands. Raw material $7,000. H. GRISWOLD ; 
bone buttons. Employed twenty hands. Raw material, $8000. 
CALVIN COE ; neat's foot oil, ground bones and gypsum. 
Employed four hands. WM. HALE; suspenders. Hands 
worked at their own houses. Raw material $20,000. JEDE- 
DIAH WILCOX ; carpet bags. W. K. & S. L. TREAT ; sashes, 
blinds and doors. Employed five hands. OSGOOD & Co. ; 
platform scales. Employed three hands. SAMUEL YALE; 
tin ware and lamp screws. Employed four hands. 




THIS institution is located about one mile west of the 
village of Wallingford. Its buildings occupy a conspic- 
uous site on the old Hartford and New Haven turnpike, 
commanding a view of the Quinnipiac valley for several 
miles in either direction. Its orchards, vineyards and 
gardens, extend from the banks of the river nearly to 
the summit of "Mount Tom," as the Communists have 
named the high land west of their dwellings. 

The Wallingford Community consists of between 
forty and fifty members, and is a branch of the well 
known Oneida Community, in the State of New York, 
the two institutions holding their interests in common, 
and exchanging men and means as circumstances re- 
quire. Its domain consists of 240 acres, which are 
chiefly devoted to grazing and the production of straw- 
berries, raspberries, grapes and other small fruits. Its 
harvest of strawberries has amounted in a single year to 
over one thousand bushels. Less attention is however, 
given by the Communists at the present time to horticul- 
ture than formerly. Their main industries now are print- 
ing and silk-manufacturing. Their printing-office is some- 
what noted for its excellent work, and attracts its share 
of patronage from the neighboring cities and villages, 
besides accommodating the citizens of Wallingford. 



The silk manufactory has been in operation less than a 
year, and affords employment to about thirty hands 
exclusive of superintendents. It is regarded as a branch 
of the Oneida silk-factory, where about one hundred 
hands are employed. The silk made here is sent to 
Oneida to be colored, spooled and otherwise prepared 
for the market. 

The founders of the Wallingford Community were 
representatives of old and respectable families of Wall- 
ingford. It was commenced in 1851 by Mr. Henry 
Allen 1 and family, including his wife and four children, 


and his sister, Miss Eliza A. Allen. Mr. and Mrs. Allen, 
having become convinced of the truth of the principles 
held by J. H. Noyes and the Oneida Communists, deter- 
mined to embody them in practical life, and accordingly 
invited members from the Oneida Community to assist 
in the formation of a Community here. Of these dele- 

i Henry Allen, son of Jared and Abigail Allen, born May 30, 1804, m. 
Emily H. Button, whose grandfather Col. Wm. Douglass was an officer of 
the revolution. 


gates Mrs. M. E. Cragin, Mr. L. H. Bradley, Mr. E. H. 
Hamilton and Mrs. S. C. Hamilton were most efficient 
during the first years of the Community. Mr. B. Bris- 
tol and family of Cheshire soon joined ; additional 
members came from Oneida ; an occasional addition was 
made from surrounding society ; and thus its present 
number has been attained. It should be mentioned in 
this connection, that the community have not for some 
years past, received any new additions to their number, 
the limit of their accommodations having been reached. 
The principles of the Wallingford Community, and of 
the kindred societies at Oneida and Willow Place, New 
York, in respect to religion, property and social relations, 
are peculiar, and have been subject to no little comment 
by the public press. Their religious doctrines are thus 
briefly stated in their publications: 

" The Communists have no formal creed, but are firmly and 
unanimously attached to the Bible as the text book of the 
spirit of truth ; to Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God ; 
to the Apostles and Primitive Church, as the exponents of 
the everlasting Gospel. Their belief is, that the second 
advent of Christ took place at the period of the destruction 
of Jerusalem ; that at that time there was a primary resurrec- 
tion and judgment in the spiritual world ; that the final 
kingdom of God then began in the heavens ; that the mani- 
festation of that kingdom in the visible world is now 
approaching ; that its approach is ushering in the second and 
final resurrection and judgment ; that a church on earth is 
now rising to meet the approaching kingdom in the heavens, 
and to become its duplicate and representative ; that inspira- 
tion, or open communication with God and the heavens, involv- 
ing perfect holiness, is the element of connection between the 
church on earth and the church in the heavens, and the power 
by which the kingdom of God is to be established and reign 
in the world." 


Thus believing that the prayer "Thy kingdom 
come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" is 
to be fulfilled, they proceed to make a practical applica- 
tion of what they conceive to be gospel principles to all 
the relations of life. They make no provision for 
selfishness, and hence exclude from their society all 
private ownership. They endeavor, in short, to conform 
to the model of society exhibited to the world on the 
day of Pentecost, when " the multitude of them that 
believed were of one heart and of one soul : neither said 
any of them that aught of the things which he possessed 
was his own ; but they had all things common." 

The Communists do not limit the Pentecostal prin- 
ciple to ordinary property interests. They affirm that 
the same spirit which abolished exclusiveness in regard 
to money, on the day of Pentecost, would abolish, if 
circumstances allowed full scope to it, exclusiveness in 
regard to women and children. Still, they claim that 
they are not "free lovers" in the common sense of the 
term, or in any sense that makes love less binding or re- 
sponsible than it is in ordinary marriage. They call their 
system of social relations "complex marriage," and say: 

"We receive no members (except by deception or mistake) 
who do not give heart and hand to the family interest for life 
and forever. Community of property extends just as far as 
freedom of love. Every man's care and every dollar of the 
common property is pledged for the maintenance and pro- 
tection of the women and education of the children of the 
Community. Whoever will take the trouble to follow our 
track from the beginning will find no forsaken women or 
children by the way. In this respect we claim to be in ad- 
vance of marriage and common civilization." 

Among the advantages of their new mode of life, as 
stated by the Communists, are these : the abolishment 


of all distinctions of rich and poor, and of all forms of 
social oppression ; the elevation of labor ; improved 
conditions of intellectual and religious culture ; greater 
variety of occupation and better opportunities for the 
development of natural talent ; relief from anxiety and 
corroding cares ; and superior conditions of health. 

Education is a subject of prime interest with the 
associated Communities. An academy recently erected 
at Oneida, now under the superintendence of competent 


instructors, offers good educational facilities to the youth 
of both sexes of all the Communities. Besides, for a 
number of years the Communities have maintained two 

i JOHN HUMPHREY NOYES, son of Hon. John Noyes of Putney, Ver- 
mont, and sixth in direct line of descent from Nicholas Noyes, who emi- 
grated in 1634 and settled at Newbury Mass., was born at Brattleboro, VL, 
Sept. 3, 1811. On the maternal side he is descended from the Hayeses, 
Russells and Trowbridges of New Haven County. Graduated at Dart- 
mouth College in 1830; studied theology at Andover and New Haven; 
was licensed to preach in 1833. ^ 1& license was soon withdrawn in conse- 
quence of his radical views on Salvation from Sin and other topics. 
Founder of Oneida and Wallingford Communities ; author of the Berean, 
a theological volume, History of American Socialisms and other works. 


or more students in a collegiate course abroad. At 
present three young men of the Wallingford. Community 
attend the Sheffield Scientific School at New Haven. 
The Circular, the weekly organ of the Communities 
was printed here during the years 1864-1868. Their 
principal publications are, the Handbook, a pamphlet of 
71 pages, containing a sketch of the history and doc- 
trines of the Communities, and of Mr. J. H. Noyes their 
founder ; the Berean, a doctrinal work of 500 pages by 
Mr. Noyes ; and a History of American Socialisms, also by 
Mr. Noyes. The last named work was recently published 
by Lippincott & Co. of Philadelphia, though printed by 
the Wallingford Community. It contains sketches of all 
the socialistic experiments worthy of note, which have 
been made in the United States during the last forty 

I i 




IN 1837 there was a strong and bitter feeling in Meriden 
against the abolitionists. It is true the propagation of 
an ultra anti-slavery feeling among the people of the 
New England States had been going forward for many 
years from various motives and in various methods ; but 
in Meriden the soil was poor for its growth and pros- 
perity. The object of the abolition movement, said the 
democrats, was not humanity ; it was to produce a sec- 
tional hatred between the North and South. In 1837 the 
vote in Meriden was Democratic about 200, Whig about 
150, Abolition about 12. The abolitionists in Meriden 
were principally men of property and influence. They 
evidently believed that ideas were not dug from the 
earth, did not grow upon trees, nor were rained down 
from heaven ; but that they were a communicated power, 
usually received from without, and rarely from within. 
They thought that slavery was a monstrous sin. If 
others doubted it, so much the more benighted must 
they be, and so much more they needed enlightenment. 
The number of abolitionists was small, but with the aid 
they received from abroad, they were enabled to create a 
profound sensation by their labors. 


The Rev. Mr. Granger was settled as pastor of the 
Congregational society in 1836 ; but was not interested 
in the anti-slavery movement. In the fall of 1837 the 
Rev. Mr. Ludlow, who had gained some notoriety as an 
anti-slavery lecturer, was requested by Messrs. Levi Yale, 
Julius Pratt, Fenner Bush, Major Cowles, Zina K. Mur- 
dock and others, to deliver a lecture in the Congregational 
church. The notice was given from the pulpit by Mr. 
Granger the Sabbath previous, and for a few days there 
was considerable excitement in the town, some declaring 
that Mr. Ludlow should not speak in the church. Mr. 
James S. Brooks with other influential men used their 
influence to prevent the meeting being held. When it 
was found that it was impossible to prevent the meeting 
a movement was organized to break it up ; and parties, 
not only in Meriden, but from Berlin, Southington and 
Wallingford, determined to be present and break up the 
meeting by force, if necessary. 

The day arrived for the meeting and Mr. Ludlow, who 
was stopping with Mr. Granger, proceeded to the church, 
the basement soon being filled by ladies and gentlemen, 
some of them from the neighboring towns. Soon after 
Mr. Ludlow commenced speaking, it was whispered 
around that trouble was brewing outside ; the door was 
then locked and several benches were placed against it. 
A large number were congregated outside, most of them 
lookers-on, not intending to take part in any demonstra- 
tions. Several stones were thrown against the door ; 
then two men by the name of Thompson procured a log 
of wood from the wood-pile of Mr. R. H. Beckley, who 
then had his harness-shop in the west end of the old 
tavern ; with this log used as a ram, they soon battered 
down the door, and the audience were at once showered 


with rotten eggs and other missiles. Several ladies 
fainted, and many of the audience ran through the cellar 
up into the body of the church. Mr. Luther Beckley 
was sexton of the church at that time, and he attempted 
to pass through the cellar, when he was stopped by Mr. 
J. Y., who had some words with him, and finally drew a 
knife. Mr. Beckley clinched with him and after a severe 
struggle threw him, and passed on to the upper part of 
the house. Mr. Beckley had taken no part in the riot, 
and was merely a spectator. A large basket of eggs 
was procured from the store opposite the tavern, and as 
soon as any one came out of the church they were at 
once made a target for the eggs. Mr. Hotchkiss and his 
wife from Berlin and Mr. Harlow Isbell were severely 
treated. Messrs. Stephen Seymour and Zina K. Mur- 
dock, in endeavoring to remove Mr. Ludlow from the 
crowd, received a shower of eggs and stones. There 
were two or three personal encounters, and several blows 
struck, but no one was seriously hurt. A number of 
men were arrested and a long trial ensued. The 
Thompson brothers were fined fifty dollars and impris- 
oned six months. The cost to Mr. Ira Twiss, who kept 
the tavern, was over a thousand dollars. 

The affair created a great deal of excitement through- 
out the state. At a church meeting, February 24, 1838, 
a resolution was offered by Mr. Fenner Bush, expressing 
the satisfaction of the church with the course pursued 
by Mr. Granger in relation to the " Meriden riots," and 
that they were fully convinced that he advanced no 
doctrine unauthorized by the word of God, or opposed 
to the dictates of humanity. Twenty-eight voted for 
this resolution, and a solemn protest signed by fifteen 
members of the church was presented ; and a committee 


was appointed to carry the vote of the church before the 
Consociation. The following was the 

"Decision of the Consociation, March 14, 1838, in 
reference to difficulties submitted to them, growing out of 
opposition to the Anti-Slavery cause. 


" DEAR BRETHREN : We have patiently and prayerfully 
considered the difficulties between you and your Pastor, and 
have arrived at the following unanimous result. 

"While the difficulties are a subject of deep regret to us as 
friends of Zion, we feel that they ought to lead you to serious 
self examination ; for the Saviour hath said, ' it must needs 
be that offences come, but woe unto that man by whom the 
offence cometh.' Your difficulties do not seem to have 
originated with your Pastor. They commenced among your- 
selves. We conceive that your complaint against him arose 
from the decided stand he was compelled to take after the'dis- 
graceful riot that occurred here in October last. In the course 
he then pursued, we feel that he is to be justified. He exer- 
cised his right to plead a cause, against which the hand of 
violence had been raised. We consider that he would have 
been an unfaithful watchman, if he had not lifted up his voice 
in defence of a privilege which is dearer than life itself. 

"The erroneous principle which lies at the foundation of 
your difficulties we discover to be this an opinion among 
some that the subject of slavery is not proper to be introduced 
into the pulpit. It is the judgment of this Consociation that 
a minister is at perfect liberty to introduce into the pulpit all 
subjects that pertain to the relations which men sustain to each 
other and to God. On all these subjects the Bible has abun- 
dant instruction, and Ministers must not shun to declare the 
whole counsel of God, whether men will hear, or whether 
they will forbear. 

"Your Pastor maintained his neutrality on this subject of 
slavery, as long as we think he consistently could with a 
sacred regard to the welfare of this place, and the interests of 


eternal truth. Considering the peculiarly trying circum- 
stances in which he was placed, we admire the wisdom and 
prudence which your Pastor exercised. We know not how 
any one could have conducted better for the interests of this 
community. And now, we discover no insuperable obstacle 
to his influence and usefulness. We regard your Pastor as 
an able and faithful minister of the Gospel. He has been 
useful among you ; he may be still. We discover no good 
reason why your Pastor should be dismissed. We do think 
the source of existing evils is among the people, and they 
should strive to remove it. 

" But had your pastor been guilty of such conduct as should 
dissolve his connection with this people, we can not too 
strongly disapprove of the measures adopted in the present 
case. In any society a few individuals might inflict irrepara- 
ble injury on a minister and on a community by circulating for 
subscription a paper drawn up in an informal and illegal meet- 
ing. In this way impressions may be made and reports may be 
spread, such as would never proceed from a regular meeting. 

"When difficulties arise between a Pastor and his flock, efforts 
should first be made to heal them. They should become the 
subject of conversation and prayer between him and the persons 
aggrieved. Then if they can not be removed, and if they are 
such as call for a separation between the parties concerned, the 
Church and Society should proceed in the same open, manly 
and Christian manner to remove their minister, as they did to 
settle him. In this respect, the Consociation judge that an 
improper course was adopted by those who moved in the 
recent transaction before the regular meeting of the Church 
and Society. 

" In drawing our results to a close, we are constrained to 
express our surprise and joy to find no more serious grounds 
of complaint between you and your Pastor. By cherishing 
towards each other a spirit of brotherly kindness and charity, 
the way will be prepared for mutual happiness and usefulness. 

" We entreat you, brethren, remember to be kind and court- 


ecus, forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any 
man have a ground against any. Forget not your relations 
to Christ, to one another, and to your Minister. In all these, 
cherish the spirit of Him whose you are and whom you 

This was followed with a " declaration of general 
principles " and signed by " Leveritt Griggs, Scribe of 
the Consociation, Meriden March 14, 1838." 

Mr. Granger published 

" A sermon preached to the Congregational Church and 
Society in Meriden, at the request of several respectable 

In the introduction Mr. Granger states that 

" The preaching and publication of the following sermon, 
have been occasioned by a humiliating scene a scene that 
will be incorporated into the future history of our hitherto 
quiet and peaceable town, and go down the line of posterity 
to the latest period of recorded time." 

"April 15, 1846. The Church met this day by special 
appointment, and after deliberation adopted the following 
vote. Resolved, that the system of Slavery, as it exists in 
the United States, is essentially sinful and admits of no 
justification from the word of God." 




" To wryte of a Mannes Lyfe mote bee enowe to saie of somme he was 
ybore and deceased ; odher somme lacketh recytalle, as manie notable 
matters bee contained in yee storie." 

Life of W. Canynge, hie Rowley. 


Was a Son of Denizen Andrews of Meriden, and was 
born in that part of Wallingford. He settled as a 
Physician in the first, or Old Society. He owned and 
occupied the house now owned by Samuel B. Parmelee 
Esq. Doct. Andrews when living, was regarded by his 
friends and neighbors as a very skillful and able physi- 
cian, and as such won a highly enviable position with 
them and the profession, and it is to be regretted that 
a more extended notice of him could not be made. 


Was a Son of Dr. Aaron Andrews, and was for many 
years an influential and very successful physician in 
Wallingford, and enjoyed an extensive practice with 
the confidence of the community. He was often 
called by the choice of his fellow citizens to fill important 
offices. He was a member of the Convention in 1818, 
which gave the State of Connecticut her present con- 


stitution. He married Abigail Atwater, a daughter of 
Capt. Caleb Atwater, for his first wife, and Anna Noyes, 
daughter of Rev. James and Anna Noyes, for his second 
wife. After her decease he left Wallingford and went to 
Penfield, Ohio, to spend his old age with his son, and died 
at the house of his son William, aged 86 years. His 
remains were, at his request, brought to Wallingford for 


Is the son of Dr. John Andrews, and was born in Wall- 
ingford, Nov. 17, 1801. He was graduated at Yale 
College in 1821, and studied law in the Yale Law School. 
He removed to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1825, and was a 
member of Congress from Ohio from 1841 to 1843. He 
was for several years Judge of the Superior Court of 
Cleveland, and in 1851 was a member of the convention 
that formed the present constitution of Ohio. He mar- 
ried in 1828 Ursula McCurdy Allen, daughter of the 
Hon. John Allen, late of Litchfield, Conn., and has five 
children ; a son and four daughters. 


Son of the late Dr. John Andrews, was born in Walling- 
ford, and is now a successful farmer at Penfield, Ohio. 
He has been honored by frequent elections to the Legis- 
lature of Ohio, and is a highly respected citizen of his 
adopted state. 


Son of the late Dr. John Andrews, was graduated at 
Yale College in 1830. After finishing his law studies, he 
went to Columbus, Ohio, where he soon took high rank 
as a lawyer, and as such commands the respect of the 
people of the whole Community in which he lives. 



Was a merchant of New Haven. In 1702, Feb. 12, he 
bought of Henry Cook of Wallingford, one hundred and 
eighteen acres of land, near the Honey Pat Brook in the 
western part of Wallingford, now Cheshire. The same 
farm has been in the family name ever since, and has 
come down as follows : first to Jonathan Atwater Jr. ; 
second to his son Abraham Atwater ; third to Samuel 
Atwater, and fourth to Flamen Atwater ; and then 
recently to the heirs of Flamen, who had lived to the 
age of 70 or more years, and was born on the place. 
This branch of the Atwater family emanates from a 
different branch than others of the same name in Chesh- 
ire and Wallingford, although of the same original stock. 


Son of Joshua and Sarah (Yale) Atwater, and grandson 
of John Atwater, the first of the name who permanently 
settled in the village of Wallingford, was born Sept. 5, 
1741. At suitable age after the decease of his father, 
he articled himself as an apprentice to learn the art, 
trade and mystery of shoe and harness making and tan- 
ning leather. At the termination of his apprenticeship, 
he commenced business for himself, adopting as his 
motto, Be diligent, be honest, and owe no man. In 
the different branches of his business he was successful, 
and as soon as his means would permit he opened a 
store of goods. At this time his business rapidly in- 
creased, and for many years he was extensively and suc- 
cessfully engaged as a merchant. He was endowed with 
extraordinary good judgment and business talent. He 
seldom if ever failed of success in any of his numerous 


He was one of the Connecticut Land Company which 
purchased of the state of Connecticut the Western Re- 
serve or New Connecticut in Ohio ; and though one of 
the largest purchasers, he found it convenient to pay 
cash in full for all of his purchases on receiving his 
deeds. Among other lands in the different counties of 
the Reserve, was the entire township of Atwater in 
Portage Co., which, with the exception of 200 acres set 
apart for religious purposes by him, he gave to his son 
Joshua ; and he afterwards caused a tract of land in 
Auburn, Granger County, to be surveyed into 65 lots of 
100 acres each, giving one lot to each of his grandchil- 
dren, numbering over fifty, and the balance of his west- 
ern land to be. divided among his children. He was at 
this time a man of great wealth. 

For many years he was a worthy member of the Con- 
gregational church, and was highly esteemed and honored 
by all who knew him. At the advanced age of 91, in 
the full enjoyment of his mental faculties, he died deeply 


Was an only son of Caleb and Abigail (Jones) Atwater, 
and was born February 8, 1773. He was bred a mer- 
chant, and for several years occupied the old stand of his 
father, where he prosecuted quite an extensive busi- 
ness. He was a highly respected gentleman, honorable 
and honest in all his business transactions. He was a 
deacon of the Congregational church for many years, 
and occupied a highly respectable position among all 
classes of his fellow citizens in his native town and 
wherever known. He died at the age of 89 years, be- 
loved and respected by all who knew him. 



Son of Joshua, and grandson of Capt. Caleb Atwater, 
was born July 11, 1804; removed to Atwater, Ohio, in 
1823, to take charge and dispose of Western Reserve 
Lands, and to engage in merchandize. That country at 
that date was quite new. For over forty years he resi- 
ded in the town of Atwater and city of Cleveland, an 
interested observer of the growth and advance of the 
Western Reserve and entire state of Ohio to its present 
greatness. In 1865 he removed from Cleveland to his 
native town, Wallingford, the oldest remaining member 
of his father's family. 


Son of Joshua Atwater, born July 19, 1815, now resides 
at his father's old homestead, which was the home of his 
grandfather and great grandfather, it being the same 
farm originally owned and occupied by his great great 
grandfather John Atwater, who was son of David Atwa- 
ter of New Haven, and who was one of the original 
Planters of New Haven, A. D. 1637. 


Son of Joshua and Elizabeth Atwater, and grandson of 
Caleb Atwater, was a young man of more than ordinary 
promise and ability. As a public speaker he was en- 
dowed with an uncommon gift. In 1841 he was elected 
a Senator from the sixth Senatorial district to the 
Connecticut Legislature, and was a popular and a very 
influential member of that body. He died in 1850, at 
the age of 38 years, lamented by all who knew him. 


Of Farmington, Eng., came into Wallingford about the 
beginning of the last century, and settled in the eastern 
section of the town on an old road that formerly ran 


south from the site of the late Col. Russel Hall's 
barn. This old road on which lived a number of families 
has long since been closed, and the dwellings they once 
occupied are now gone to decay. His will was dated 
Feb. 19, 1745-6, and is recorded in the books of the 
Probate Court at New Haven. The inventory of his 
property amounted to ^1839, los. 2d. After giving 
to the Congregational Church at Wallingford the sum 
of ,3 for a Silver Cup, he gave " all the remainder of 
his property to the Lord Jesus Christ, the interest of 
which to be expended towards keeping up two lectures 
in said first church, to be called Baulcot's Lectures, 
forever ; but if any of his brothers' or sisters' children 
claim the property within forty years, then the estate 
shall go to them." He married Naomi Thorp, Dec. 20, 


Was a son of John, of Stratford. He married Ruth 
Peck, May 12, 1680. He located on the farm late the 
property of Cephas Johnson, and built the old house 
that was taken down to make way for the present one 
built by Mr. Johnson on the old site. He died in Meri- 
den May 13, 1741, aged 82 years, and was interred in 
the old burying-ground on burying-yard hill, about a 
mile to the south-west of Meriden center. 


Came from New Haven to Wallingford with the first 
company of Planters in 1670, and located himself in the 
southerly portion of the town, and I suppose him to be 
a brother of Thomas Beach above. He was a man 
of some consequence in the settlement, and was fre- 
quently elected to some of the offices in the gift of the 



Was born in Wallingford, March 15, 1790. Without the 
advantages of a collegiate education, but with a remark- 
able love of learning, and strong intellectual powers, he 
became a good scholar and an excellent preacher. He 
was admitted to Deacon's Orders in St. Michael's Church, 
R. I., by Bishop Griswold, on the twentieth of October, 
1815. Immediately after his ordination he removed to 
the northern part of Vermont, where, for several years, 
he officiated in the three parishes of St. Albans, Fairfield 
and Sheldon. He was the only clergyman of the Epis- 
copal church of that day, north of Vergennes. He was 
admitted to Priest's orders by Bishop Griswold, in Hold- 
erness, N. H., August 20, 1817. In 1822 he removed 
from Vermont to take charge of the parish at Salisbury 
in the state of Connecticut. Here also he was known, 
as he had been in Vermont, as a successful founder of 
churches, and his name is gratefully remembered through- 
out that part of the State. In 1833 he removed from 
Salisbury to Essex in the same State, taking charge of 
that parish in connection with St. Stephen's Church, East 
Haddam. Under his zealous ministry, each of these 
parishes soon grew to require and be able to support 
the entire service of a minister; and in 1836 Mr. Beach 
resigned the parish at Essex and became pastor at East 
Haddam. His ministry in this place, abundantly blessed, 
was continued for two years only, when he died at the 
age of forty-seven, on the fourteenth day of January, 1838. 

In 1814 he was married to a daughter of Amos 
Billings of Guilford, Vermont. Two of his sons are 
highly respectable clergymen of the Episcopal church ; 
one, Amos Billings, rector of Christ church, Binghamp- 


ton, N. Y., the other, Alfred Billings (now D. D. ), rector 
of St. Peter's church, New York city. 

Although called in the Providence of God to occupy 
positions in the church to which he belonged remote 
and comparatively but little known, yet it may be said 
with truth, that few of its ministers have been more 
useful, or have in the same period of time done more in 
this country for the extension of that church, and its 
permanent establishment in destitute places, than did 
Mr. Beach. 

As a preacher, he was remarkably clear, earnest, 
plain and instructive. He excelled in extemporaneous 
preaching. Taking a strong hold of what he regarded 
as truth or duty, his conduct was always consistent with 
his professions and convictions. At the same time, he 
was singularly humble and charitable, and was therefore 
greatly respected and beloved by all who knew him, and 
not less by those who were not, than by those who were, 
of his own church and persuasion. 


The life of Moses Y. Beach, well known as the late 
proprietor of the New York Sun, the pioneer of the 
penny press, while it presents no remarkable variety of 
changes or incidents, is attractive in tracing the steps 
of a determined man. 

His great grandfather and grandfather, both bearing 
the name of Moses Beach, each lived in succession on 
the same farm, to good old age, ranking among the 
more respectable men of the settlement ; and when each 
in turn had answered the call of nature, their pos- 
sessions passed to Moses Sperry Beach, who married 
Lucretia Yale, a daughter of Captain Elihu and Lucre- 
tia ( Stanley ) Yale, a descendant of Thomas Yale, who 


settled in Wallingford in 1670. Of this couple, Moses 
Yale Beach was an only son. When at the age of four 
months Mr. Beach was deprived of his mother by the 
hand of death ; and as his father's business called him 
much from home, he was confided to the care of his 
step-mother. As soon as his age would permit he was 
taught to do " chores," and at the age of ten years he 
took charge of considerable of the out-door work on the 
farm, besides going a long distance to school. From 
four o'clock in the morning until eleven o'clock at night 
he was generally up and doing, and yet found leisure to 
exercise his mechanical ingenuity in the manufacture of 
playthings for himself and others. 

At a suitable age he was, at his own solicitation, bound 
an apprentice to Mr. Daniel Dewey, a cabinet maker at 
Hartford. His industry soon excited the attention of 
his master, who was a close man, but who finally made 
a contract by which young Beach was allowed two cents 
an hour for extra work. Mr. Beach afterwards said, 
that he never felt happier at any time during his life, at 
success in any thing, than he did on the occasion of 
closing that contract. Early and late he worked, and 
the pennies began to accumulate. Finally he made a 
bargain for his time after he should arrive at the age 
of eighteen years, for which he was to pay the sum of 
$400. This arrangement gave him new life, and when 
the time had come round he had saved between one 
and two hundred dollars more than enough to pay for 
his freedom, with which he commenced life. 

He went to Northampton and worked a short time as 
a journeyman. After a while he formed a copartnership 
with a young man by the name of Loveland. Their 
work was much celebrated ; in testimony of which they 


received the first premium of the Franklin Institute. 
While thus employed under a fair sky, he married 
Nancy Day of West Springfield, Mass. 

In 1835 ne removed to New York, where he shortly 
after bought the interest of Mr. Wisner in the New 
York Sun, on a credit of $5,200. In the course of the 
following year, he bargained with Benjamin H. Day, his 
partner, for the remaining half, for the sum of $19,500. 
The first six months after he became the entire owner of 
the paper it did not prove as profitable as he had expect- 
ed, and he was ready to sell it out, and offered it and 
all the property he then possessed, if any one would take 
it off his hands and pay his obligations to Mr. Day ; but 
not succeeding in effecting a sale, he went to work with 
renewed ardor, and before two years had passed, the last 
dollar was paid off and he was once more in the 

From 1838 his course was steadily upward. His 
ability and enterprise in the management of his busi- 
ness excited the envy of some ; but notwithstanding 
this, there are very few, if any, who knew him personally, 
who did not value him as a friend. Notwithstanding 
his many and severe labors, together with his failing 
health in middle life, he lived to the age of sixty-nine 
years, and died possessed of the largest estate of any 
native of Wallingford who had died in the town. 


Drusilla Brewster, b. Nov. 30, 1820; m. Alexander 
Kursted of Tannersville, N. Y., Jan. i, 1848. In 1849 
they removed to Delaware County, N. Y. Moses 
Sperry, b. Oct. 5, 1822 ; m. Chloe Buckingham of 
Waterbury, in 1842. Resides in Brooklyn, N. Y. 
Henry Day, b. Aug. 8, 1824; m. Annie Fordham. Re- 
K K 

5 i8 


sides at May's Landing, N. J. Alfred Ely, b. Sept. I, 
1826; m. Harriet E. Holcomb of Boston, Mass., June 30, 
1847. Resides in Stratford, Conn. Joseph Perkins, b. 

July 16, 1828; m. Eliza M. Betts of New York city, 
March 20, 1850. Resides in Cheshire, Conn. Eveline 


Shepherd, b. July 27, 1830; d. Aug. 18, 1830. Mary 
Ely, b. Aug., 1834; d. 1834. William Yale, b. Jan. 7, 
1836; m. Emma A. Munson of Wallingford, where he 
now resides. 


Was born in Wallingford, parish of Cheshire, 1719. He 
was a son of Matthew, and grandson of Matthew of 
Fairfield and Killingworth, Conn. He was graduated at 
Yale College studied for the ministry, and settled at 
Bethlem in 1740. He married Frances Sherman of 
New Haven, April 27, 1744. She died August 30, 1785. 
He died March 6, 1760. 

He was a large, well-built man of commanding appear- 
ance, had a smooth, strong voice, and could fill the 
largest house, without any unnatural elevation. He was 
possessed of a truly great mind, and generally preached 
without notes. He usually had some great doctrinal 
point to establish, and would keep close to his subject 
until he had sufficiently illustrated it ; then, in an in- 
genious, close and pungent manner, he would make the 

When he felt well, and was animated by a large audi- 
ence he would preach incomparably. Though he paid 
little attention to language, yet when he became warm, 
and filled with his subject, he would, from the native 
vigor of his soul, produce the most commanding strokes 
of eloquence, making his audience alive. There is noth- 
ing in his writings, though a learned and great divine, 
equal to what was to be seen and heard in his preaching ; 
and it is difficult for any one who never heard him to 
form a just idea of the force and beauty of his preach- 
ing. He died at Bethlem in Litchfield county, Conn. 



Was born in Wallingford, Cheshire Parish, Oct. 20, 1754, 
and graduated at Yale in 1775. He was the aid of Gen. 
Wooster when that officer was slain. He settled in 
Vermont, and became one of the most popular men in 
that State. In 1791 he was elected to the Senate of the 
United States, and continued a member of that body for 
sixteen years. He died at Walpole, New Hampshire, 
Dec. 1 6, 1830, aged 75 years. 


Was one of the earliest settlers in Wallingford ; was 
there with his friend John Moss in 1668, and possibly 
before, making preparations for the settlement of a vil- 
lage there, and was selected by the New Haven committee 
to act as one of the sub-committee to manage the affairs 
of the new settlement until such time as it should become 
strong enough to manage its own affairs. The lot which 
was assigned him and on which he located himself, was 
at the south end of the village, a short distance below the 
present residence of Constant Webb, and extending over 
to Wharton's brook, embracing a portion of the land of 
Giles Hall and the house of the late Edward L. Hall. 
He died March 12, 1689, aged 80 years. His eldest son 
John was born in England, and settled near Muddy 
River in North Haven, as a Physician. He died Nov., 
1720, and was the progenitor of most of the Brockett 
families in that locality. 


Was born in Wallingford and was during his whole 
life one of the most prominent of her citizens. He 
was the first post-master ever appointed for Wallingford, 
having the appointment in 1798, and continued in 


the discharge of its duties until the close of his life. In 
person he was a large, well-built man, of commanding 
appearance and address. For many years he conducted 
the singing in the old Congregational meeting-house, 
until it was taken down in 1824, giving great satisfaction 
as a leader. He was superintendent of the gun factory 
for the late Eli Whitney, Esq., at Whitneyville, and 
such was the confidence of Mr. Whitney in his ability, 
that he gave him the entire charge of the business for 
many years. His death was lamented by a large circle 
of friends and neighbors. 


Studied medicine with Dr. Billious Kirtland of Walling- 
ford, but never practised his profession. He entered 
into the mercantile business in early life as a partner 
with the late George B. Kirtland, and continued with 
him through life. He was remarkable for his fund of 
liveliness. He had a peculiar way of pleasing his patrons 
and friends, especially the young ; and his many noble 
qualities will long live in their memories. The firm of 
Carrington and Kirtland, at the decease of Mr. C., was 
one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in New Haven county. 


Married Elizabeth, daughter of James Miles of Walling- 
ford. She died April 19, 1755. He was a sea captain, 
and engaged largely in the shipping business. Being 
successful, he built at the foot of town hill, a house 
which was then the largest in the township, being 40 feet 
square on the front, and three stories high. It was after- 
ward occupied by Nathaniel Hitchcock, and finally sold 
to Joel Rice, who caused it to be taken clown. He died 
Aug. 17, 1774, aged 63. 



Son of Samuel, the son of Samuel, was born in that 
part of the town now embraced in the township of 
Cheshire. On the breaking out of the war of the Revo- 
lution he entered into the service of his country ; was 
made Colonel of his regiment, and was under the com- 
mand of Gen. Gates during the memorable battle at Sara- 
toga in 1777, and greatly distinguished himself as a 
brave and skillful officer. He died in Wallingford, Feb. 
28, 1800, aged 72 years. 


Son of Col. Thaddeus, was born in Wallingford, and 
was eminently qualified for a public man. Although pos- 
sessed of a large real estate, he was ever ready to serve 
the public in almost any position to which he might be 
called. He was often a member of the General Assembly, 
and a selectman of the town. He was noted for his nat- 
ural gift in controlling those brought under his special 
authority. One look from him at one naturally indolent, 
was sufficient to arouse in him spirited action. A per- 
son once said to me, that he always loved and feared the 
presence of old Esq. Cook. He was active in the es- 
tablishment of the Union Academy, which flourished for 
some years after its charter was granted, and was an 
honor to the town. As a farmer he had few if any 
superiors in his town or State. He died Sept. 27, 1824, 
aged 66 years. 


Born in Wallingford in 1760. At the age of 16 he en- 
tered the army of the Revolution with his father, Col. 
Isaac Cook of Wallingford, and served to the end. In 
1811 he was at the battle of Tippecanoe. In 1813 he 


resided in New Haven, and in 1849 ne removed from 
Yonkers to Deer Park, Long Island, where he died on 
the 1 8th day of Dec., 1831, aged 92 years. It was this 
man who built the small stucco house standing on the 
east side of East street in the city of New Haven. 


In the year 1718, Rev. Benjamin Doolittle, of Wall- 
ingford, preached in Northfield, Mass. ; the people 
desired him to settle, and promised him 6$ as annual 
salary, and quite a liberal amount of money and land as 
" settlement." Mr. Doolittle continued there until Jan- 
uary 9, 1 748, when he died, in the fifty-fifth year of his 
age, and the thirtieth of his ministry. On the North- 
field records, one of their highways is laid out, "from 
Pochaug meadow to a little brook where Mr. Doolittle's 
horse died." The following is the epitaph on his tomb- 
stone : 

" Blessed with good intellectual parts, 
Well skilled in two important arts, 
Nobly he filled the double station 
Both of a preacher and physician. 
To cure man's sicknesses and sins, 
He took unwearied care and pains ; 
And strove to make his patient whole 
Throughout, in body and in soul. 
He loved his God, loved to do good, 
To all his friends vast kindness showed, 
Nor could his enemies exclaim 
And say, he was not kind to them. 
His labors met a sudden close : 
Now he enjoys a sweet repose, 
And when the just to life shall rise, 
Among the first he'll mount the skies." 



Was an inn-keeper during the French war. His house 
was the most noted tavern on the main road between 
Boston and New York. Lord Loudon, while on his way 
to Canada, put up at Doolittle's house with his coach 
and four splendid horses. The landlord was much in 
the habit of using large words out of their appropriate 
place and meaning. On this occasion he felt a special 
call for them. In the morning he carefully looked at 
the fine blooded team in presence of his titled guest 
and on each of the horses employed every superlative of 
a considerable character until he came to the fourth ani- 
mal. "What do you think of that one?" asked his 
lordship. " It is a precarious good horse," replied the 
landlord. The word precarious stuck to Mr. Doolittle 
as long as he lived. The ' house was removed from its 
old site, and is now the building on the south corner, 
opposite the Congregational church. It was placed 
where it now stands by Eben Smith, who occupied it 
as a hotel for several years. 


The son of Thomas Fenn of Wallingford, was born in 
Wallingford in the year 1735, and removed to West- 
bury in early life with his father, April 19, 1760. He 
represented the towns of Watertown and Waterbury, 
in thirty-five Sessions, beginning in 1778. He was a 
Justice of the Peace and a Deacon of the Congrega- 
tional Church of Watertown for many years. Through 
a long life he was an influential and much respected citi- 
zen. He married Abiah, daughter of Richard Welton 
of Waterbury, by whom he had six sons and two 
daughters. He was a captain in the Revolutionary 
army. He died August I, 1818. 



Was a son of Rev. John Foot of Cheshire, and was 
born Nov. 8, 1780. He graduated at Yale College in 
1797, studied law, and commenced practice in his 
native village. He married Miss Eudocia Hull, daughter 
of Gen. Andrew Hull, of Cheshire, and became a part- 
ner with Mr. Hull in commercial business at New 
Haven. In 1819 he was elected a member of Congress, 
and reflected in 1823 and 1834. He was elected 
Speaker of the House of Representatives of Conn, in 
1825-6, and was chosen a Senator in Congress from 
1827 to 1833. In 1834 he was elected Governor of 
Connecticut, and during that year received from Yale 
College the degree of LL.D. He died Sept. 16, 1846, 
aged 66 years. He left three sons, viz. : the Hon. John 
A. Foot, of Cleveland, Ohio ; Rear Admiral Andrew 
H. Foot, U. S. N., who died at New Haven ; Augustus 
E. Foot, Esq., of Cleveland, Ohio. 


Was born in Wallingford. He graduated at Yale Col- 
lege in 1747, studied medicine, and located himself at 
Midway, Georgia. Having earnestly and zealously 
espoused the cause of his country in her struggle with 
the mother country during the Revolution, his efforts 
contributed much to induce the people of Georgia to 
join the confederacy. He was in May, 1775, elected to 
Congress, as a member of which he signed the Decla- 
ration of Independence, and continued in that body till 
the close of 1780. In 1783 he was elected Governor 
of Georgia. He died Feb., 1791, aged 66 years. He 
was a son of the Hon. John and Mary (Lyman) Hall, 
of Wallingford. 



Was born in Wallingford, and removed to Goshen in 
early life. He owned and occupied when living in 
Wallingford the house now occupied by the heirs of 
Lyman Hall, and known as the Aaron Yale place. He 
was a man of worth, and much respected. 


Was his son, and was born at Goshen, July 27, 1783. 
His mother was a woman of superior mind. She came 
from a family on Long Island. In childhood he was 
distinguished for his great fondness for books and love 
of music. In his sixteenth year he became converted 
and united with the church at Torrington, where the 
family then resided. He felt a desire then to enter the 
ministry. The expense however was an effectual barrier 
to his desires, and he learned the trade of a house car- 
penter of his father. In the meantime he became 
acquainted with the rudiments of an English education, 
and acquired an intimate acquaintance of men and 
things, of human nature as seen in the affairs of common 
life, of which clergymen as a class are lamentably defi- 
cient. His trade he never forgot through life, and during 
his preparatory studies continued to exercise his skill as 
a worker on wood for profit, and at a later period for 
exercise and recreation. In the latter part of the year 
1802, or early in 1803, ne commenced his preparatory 
course of studies under the direction of his pastor, the 
Rev. Alexander Gillette. In September, 1803, he entered 
Yale college. He at once took high rank, and at his 
graduation in 1807, received one of the highest honors 
of the institution. After a year devoted to teaching, he 
commenced his theological studies under the Rev. Dr. 
Porter of Washington, Conn., and finished them at An- 


dover, Mass. In a short time he was called to Plymouth, 
Conn., where he was ordained and installed over the 
Congregational church and society in Sept., 1810. He 
married a daughter of Gen. Daniel and Martha (Humis- 
ton) Potter. He was an interesting and able preacher, 
and few men in the State were more generally acceptable. 
He was lively and pleasant in conversation, easy and 
agreeable in his manners. He died April 25, 1834; left 
no children. 


Of Wallingford, owned the farm on which afterwards 
lived Jeremiah Hall, who married his daughter. The old 
Hart house stood a little south of the one in which Mr. 
Hall lived. Mr. Hart was a carpenter and joiner, and 
when in advanced life, used to boast of having built 
eleven meeting-houses, one of which is now ( 1870) 
standing in Farmington. In his old age he went to 
Goshen to reside with his sons. He built the steeple on 
the old three story Congregational meeting-house in 
Wallingford, about 1745. He died some sixty years ago, 
aged ninety years. 


Was an inn-keeper in Wallingford, and is said to have 
built the house now known as the residence of the late 
Abijah Ives, on the plains, in which for many years he 
kept an inn. This house is still standing on its original 
foundation, on the corner of the old colony road and 
the road leading to Hosford's bridge, in a rather dilapi- 
dated condition. 


Was a son of John and Sarah Hull, of Wallingford, and 
was born in what is now Cheshire, in 1728. Studied 
the profession of medicine at an early age ; married 


Hannah, daughter of Cook, March 28, 1749, and 

soon after removed to Bethlem in Woodbury, probably 
through the influence of Dr. Bellamy, who was a native 
of the same town and a few years his senior. He died 
Nov. 10, 1760, the same day with his wife, in the " Great 
Sickness." They were buried in one grave, and two of 
his children and a young man living in his house died a 
few days later. Soon after these deaths, and while others 
were sick in the house, a Deacon Strong, near by, raised 
a flock of eleven quails, which flew over the house and 
dropped in the garden. Immediately after, three of them 
rose and flew into the bushes, but the other eight were 
found dead, and in an hour afterwards putrified, became 
offensive and were buried. As a physician and as a 
man Dr. Hull ever sustained a high character, in the 
place of his adoption. 


Was a prominent citizen of Wallingford. He frequently 
represented his town in the Legislature of the State. 
Was often one of the select men of the town, and as 
proprietor of the old mill which to this day bears his 
name, conducted a large business. Subsequently he 
added to his milling business that of wool carding, dye- 
ing, dressing cloth, &c., continuing the same to the 
close of his life. 


Was born in Wallingford, November 16, 1755. He 
was a descendant of John Kirtland, who was one of the 
thirty-six heads of families who settled at Saybrook in 
1635. In the year 1776 he was in the provisional 
service at New York, at the time of the defeat of the 
American army on Long Island, and was engaged on 


board the boats which conveyed our retreating forces 
over to the mainland. He, with most of the company, 
was attacked with the malignant camp distemper, 
typhoid dysentery, and was discharged at Saw-pits. 
After his recovery and return home, he pursued for a 
number of years the occupation of carriage-making and 
farming, in his native town. He was one of the original 
members of the Connecticut Land company, which 
purchased the title to the Western Reserve, or New 
Connecticut. As agent for the company, he conducted 
a boat loaded with surveyors, emigrants and provisions 
up the Mohawk river through Wood creek, Oneida and 
Ontario lakes, into Niagara river ; from thence hauled 
it around the falls on the Canada side, and navigated up 
the river and through Lake Erie into Grand river, a little 
above the present city of Painesville, in the year 1798. 
In the same capacity he annually visited the West until 
1803, when he removed his family to Ohio, and located 
at Poland, where he resided until his death, August 16 
1844. As agent or proprietor, he disposed of extensive 
tracts of new lands ; and he took an active and influ- 
ential part in promoting settlements and introducing 
schools and various improvements. For a time he was 
a Senator in the State Legislature, and Associate Judge 
in the court of Common Pleas of Ohio. He was 
distinguished for his integrity and active business habits. 
As one of the earlier settlers, he saw the Connecticut 
Reserve in its primitive condition a perfect wilderness, 
and lived to see it thickly peopled by the best regulated 
and most intelligent population to be found in the 
Union out of New England. When in Wallingford he 
owned and occupied the house and farm of the late 
Amos Button. 



During his whole life was an example worthy of 
imitation. He was universally regarded as an hon- 
est, upright and intelligent merchant and business 
man. He made it a principle never to recommend 
an article beyond what it would bear. He died in 
1869, having lived out the full number of years 
allotted to man, greatly lamented by the whole com- 
munity, and especially by the Episcopal church, of 
which he was a consistent and worthy member. He was 
the last male member of the once highly respectable 
Kirtland family in Wallingford. 


A son of Turhancl and Mary Kirtland, and grandson of 
Dr. Jared Potter, a distinguished physician of Walling- 
ford. He was born Nov. 10, 1793, in the town of 
Wallingford. He received his classical education 
chiefly in Cheshire and Wallingford academies, and 
was for a time a pupil of Rev. Dr. Tillotson Bronson, 
the then Principal of the Cheshire Episcopal Academy. 
In 1810 he commenced the study of medicine, and 
became a private pupil of Drs. Eli Ives and Nathan 
Smith, of New Haven, until 1812, when he entered 
the first class in the Medical Department of Yale Col- 
lege, and was the first who signed the matriculation 
book in the charge of Prof. Jonathan Knight. At the 
close of the medical term, he with others formed a class 
for the study of botany and mineralogy, which, together 
with their medical studies, was pursued under Prof. Eli 
Ives and Benjamin Silliman. In 1814 he entered the 
Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, 
and soon after passed an examination for a medical 
degree before the medical faculty of Yale College. The 


subject of his Thesis was, " Our Indigenous Vegetable 
Materia Medica," a private subject of one of his teach- 
ers, Dr. Benjamin Smith Barton, and in consonance 
more with his own taste than other points of his pro- 

In May, 1814, he married Caroline, daughter of 
Joshua and Elizabeth (Cook) Atwater of Wallingford, 
and soon after commenced the practice of medicine in 
that place, which he continued until 1817, when at a 
town meeting held at Durham he was invited to locate 
in that town as a physician, which invitation he accepted. 
His practice here soon became large ; but with it he 
found time to interest himself in the culture of fruits 
and flowers, of which he was very fond. In 1823 he re- 
moved to Poland, Trumbull Co., Ohio, where, although 
continuing to practice his profession of medicine when- 
ever called upon, he gave his time and thoughts mainly 
to the culture of his farm, garden and orchard. 

In 1837 he removed to Cleveland, Ohio, and at first 
established himself in the town or city ; but soon tiring 
of the confined limits of a city residence, he purchased 
one hundred and seventy-five acres of land about five 
miles west of the city of Cleveland, situated immediately 
on the Lake shore. Here, while at times continuing his 
professional labors, he has found time to examine and 
describe all the fishes of Ohio's lakes and rivers ; to 
collect and compare innumerable fresh water shells, con- 
nected with which he made a discovery in the science, 
new and distinct, viz.: the sexual or male and female 
character of the muscle, which is indicated by the form 
of the shell. He found time to examine the native wild 
plants botanically, to examine and to study the geologi- 
cal formation of the State, to study and gather speci- 


mens of birds by hundreds. He has investigated the 
habits of the honey-bee, has found time to superintend 
and direct a large farm on which all the best grains and 
grapes, and the best breeds of cattle, sheep, hogs, &c., 
have been tried and compared, comparative values of 
manures tested, and their components analyzed. 

In 1827 he was elected a representative to the Legis- 
lature of Ohio, and re-elected several times ; was chair- 
man of the committee on the Penitentiary in the House. 
In 1835 he was elected Professor of the Theory and 
Practice of Medicine in the Medical College of Ohio. 
In 1841, having resigned his position in the Medical 
College of Ohio, he became Professor of the Theory and 
Practice of Medicine in the Willoughby Medical School ; 
and afterwards, when the medical department of the 
Western Reserve College was established at Cleveland, 
he accepted a similar position in that college, which his 
health compelled him to resign in 1 864. He was at one 
time President of the Ohio State Medical Society ; and 
when in attendance at public gatherings has universally 
been called upon to assume the duties of the chair. In 
1 86 1 he received the degree of LL.D. from Williams Col- 
lege. Genial in spirit, full of intelligent conversational 
power, possessing the retiring manner and dignity of a 
well-bred gentleman of the old school, he wins the 
hearts of the old and young ; while the intelligent and all 
who seek knowledge, rejoice in obtaining an hour in his 
society. He is now over 76 years old. 


Was born in Wallingford, and was for several years a 
justly celebrated hotel keeper and merchant in the vil- 
lage. He owned and occupied the lot on which now 


stands the house and store of Lorenzo Lewis, his grand- 
son. He was a prominent politician. One of the parties 
at one time assumed the name of Lewis, and the oppo- 
sition that of Cooke. Politics never ran higher in Wall- 
in gford than at this time. He was the father of Isaac 
Lewis, who was keeper of a hotel and merchant at Meri- 
den, and who was the father of the late Patrick Lewis, 
and of Isaac Lewis, who is and has been a very successful 
business man in Meriden for several years. 


A native of Ireland, came to America in the latter part 
of the last century, and found his way to Wallingford, a 
peddler of small articles of dry-goods. In making his 
trips about Wallingford, he formed the acquaintance of 
Miss Dacia Hall, a daughter of Charles and Sarah ( At- 
water) Hall, and married her. In a few years he was 
enabled by his industry and success in business, to build 
and stock a store with dry-goods and groceries. His 
ambition led him to invest in real-estate quite too largely 
for his means, by which, with other matters, he became 
involved, from the effects of which he never fully recov- 
ered. He lived to an advanced age. His children were 
Dr. Charles B., who was a physician in Yalesville ; Mary, 
died in Yalesville ; Sarah, died unmarried in 1869 ; Ann, 
died unmarried ; Henry Hobart, died April 23, 1870, 
from an injury received two days before. 


Was in New Haven as early as 1645, perhaps earlier, 
and was a member of the General Court during several 
sessions. In 1670 at the May session he was active in 
procuring the act of incorporation of Wallingford, and 
succeeded on the I2th day of May, 1670, at Hartford. 
He was evidently the leading man of the new settlement, 

L L 


and was the pioneer of the settlers, being on the ground 
certainly as early as 1667. His house lot was situated 
at the extreme south end of the village, adjoining that of 
his friend (John Brockett) who was associated with him 
in promoting the interest and advancement of the settle- 
ment. He died A. D. 1707, aged 103. 


Came into Wallingford a tinner by trade, and married 
Lydia Mattoon. About the year 1820 he invented his 
justly celebrated Razor Strop, which soon became noted in 
every part of the United States. In this enterprise he 
was prosperous beyond his most sanguine expectations. 
He was a man of enterprise and good business talents, 
and of easy address and gentlemanly deportment. After 
his retirement from business he was chosen Judge of 
the Probate Court, and a Justice of the Peace. In 
the discharge of the duties of these offices, he was 
eminently well qualified, and his decisions compare 
favorably with those of any of his predecessors. He 
reared a large and highly respectable family of children, 
and died at the advanced age of 78 years, in Wallingford, 
the place of his adoption. His eldest son, George V. 
Pomeroy, is a merchant in New York city. The late 
Jerome B. Pomeroy M. D. is also a son of the Judge. 


Was born in East Haven, Conn., Sept. 25, 1742. His 
classical studies were commenced under the Rev. Phile- 
mon Robbins of Branford. He entered Yale college in 
1756, and was graduated in 1760. His medical studies 
were begun under Dr. Harpins of Milford, and afterward 
pursued under the Rev. Jared Elliot of Killingworth. 
He commenced practice in East Haven in 1763, but 
soon removed to New Haven, where he established a fa- 


vorable reputation and secured a good share of patron- 
age. The premonitory tumults of the approaching 
conflict with the mother country induced him to remove 
his family to a place of less exposure to impending dan- 
gers. Hence in the year 1773 he changed his location to 
Wallingforcl, where he went into professional practice 
and continued with the exception of the time spent in 
the service of his country, until his death, July 30, 1810. 

He was a descendant of John Potter, who signed the 
plantation covenant of New Haven, June 4, 1639. At 
the commencement of the Revolution, when the first 
six regiments were raised by the Province of Connecti- 
cut, he was appointed surgeon of the fourteenth regi- 
ment under Colonel (afterwards General) Wooster, and 
went with them to Canada, and was present when the 
British port of St. John's was captured in September, 
1775, by General Montgomery. From there he removed 
with the army to Montreal, where he was placed in 
charge of a hospital, and remained until our forces 
returned in the next summer. The term of enlistment 
having expired, he was immediately re-appointed surgeon, 
and was attached to Colonel Douglas's regiment, destined 
to re-enforce the continental army in New York city. 
He was in the battles of Long Island and White Plains, 
and at the close of the campaign, when the regiment 
was disbanded, he returned to Wallingford. 

Too many physicians throw aside their books, or pay 
little attention to them after they are engaged in exten- 
sive practice. This was not the case with Dr. Potter. 
He was an uncommonly diligent student, not merely 
while acquiring the rudiments of his profession, but to 
the end of his life. For many years he kept a medical 
school, in which several of the most eminent physicians 


of Connecticut were educated ; and it is worthy of 
remark that the late Dr. Samuel Hopkins of Hartford, 
who was considered the most able practitioner of his 
county if not in the State, was his pupil. Dr. Potter 
imbibed much of the spirit of Elliot for philosophical 
investigations, and took pains to become well acquainted 
with the practice and opinion of all the most celebrated 
writers, ancient and modern, upon nearly every disease. 
His reading was consequently very extensive. He 
was in the habit of purchasing annually all of the new 
medical works which appeared ; and was also well read in 
the reviews and other periodical literature of the day. 
As a physician he was a superior judge of symptoms, 
and was a very energetic and successful practitioner in 
acute diseases ; but it is said that he was very skeptical 
of the power of medicine in most chronic complaints, 
and for that reason, his practice in such cases was rather 
inefficient and sometimes almost inert. Dr. Potter was 
well known as having had a peculiar fondness for discuss- 
ing questions of speculative theology and the politics 
of the day ; and when conversing on these subjects his 
strict command of his temper and an uncommon urban- 
ity of manner, joined to a large share of wit and humor, 
usually gave him a decided advantage over, most of his 
opponents. Like his preceptor Elliot, his practice and 
consultations were very extensive, and like him too for 
many years he was probably the most distinguished and 
influential physician in the State. He was one of the 
founders, and a Vice President of the State Medical 
Society. It is said that he was always able to recollect 
the name and face of any person who had once been 
introduced to him, and the circumstances of their meet- 
ing. His great colloquial powers, and the frankness and 


candor with which he uniformly treated his medical 
brethren, made his presence and advice as a counselor 
always acceptable. He died in Wallingford, deeply la- 
mented by the whole community. 


Of Farmington in 1672, and of Waterbury in 1674, 
received and accepted a grant of land called the bache- 
lors' property in 1699. He was one of the eighty-four 
first proprietors of the town in 1692. He died Nov. 14, 
1712. Mary, his wife, died one week afterwards, Nov. 
21. Both were victims of the "great sickness" that then 
prevailed in the place. 

Thomas, their second son and fourth child, received a 
grant of land in March, 1695, which he accepted as a 
bachelors' proprietor March 26, 1699. He remained in 
Waterbury long enough to secure his right, and then 
removed to Wallingford, and was there in July, 1705. 
After his father's decease he returned to Waterbury and 
was appointed a fence-viewer in 1713, grave-digger in 
1714-15-16, hayward in 1714-17-18-19. March 30 
he sold his house and six acres of land on the north side 
of West Main-st, to Thomas Richards, and returned to 
Wallingford, where he was living in 1722, a farmer. He 
had brothers and sisters, viz., Mary, Sarah, John, Israel, 
Rebecca, Ruth, Johannah, Nathaniel and Ebenezer. 
He married for his second wife, Rachel, daughter of 
John and Hannah Parker, of Wallingford. 


Came to Wallingford about 1812, and purchased the old 
homestead of Mr. Joel Hall. He was a gentleman of 
means, and a graduate of Yale College. He soon after 
purchased the house of Salmon Carter in the village, 
and became the principal of the Union Academy. He 


continued in charge of the Academy until the death of 
his father-in-law, Mr. Charles Hall, which occurred in 
1817, at which time he by his will became the possessor 
of one-half of Mr. Hall's estate. Having repaired the 
buildings, he occupied them during the rest of his life. 
He had by his first wife a child, Hannah, who died young. 


Son of Robert, alias Samuel George, and Mary Simpson, 
was born in New Haven in 17 . Samuel G. sen., came 
to America a lieutenant in the British army, about the 
year 1767, on a mission from the King of England to 
persuade the people of the colonies to receive the Stamp 
Act and other measures of the English government, 
which were then looked upon as odious and burdensome 
by the people. Mr. Simpson was a relation of the King 
by his marriage into a German family, Mr. Simpson 
himself being a German, and of a highly respectable 
and wealthy family. After taking up his residence in 
New Haven under the assumed name of Robert, he 
married Mary Johnson, daughter of a reputable family. 
Of this marriage Samuel George was an only child. 
After the decease of Mr. Simpson in 1776, his widow 
married Josiah Merriam of Wallingford, in the parish of 
Meriden, and removed to that place, taking her little son 
along with her, who, when about twenty years of age, 
married Mary, daughter of John and Eunice Yale of 
Meriden. She died April 2, 1799. After a suitable 
lapse of time he married Malinda, daughter of John and 
Lois Hall of Wallingford. He purchased and settled on 
the Dr. Russel or Henry place, situated on the old 
Tank-hood road, a short distance east of the residence of 
Mr. Hall. He disposed of this place and removed to 
Ohio, but after a residence of a few years he returned 


to Wallingford, where he died, highly respected for his 
honesty and integrity. 

Children: Alfred, Henry, George, Harmon, Samuel. 
The latter married Martha Benham and is a successful 
manufacturer in his native town ; has had one son, Sam- 
uel G., and two daughters. 


Was a man of some note in Wallingford sixty years ago. 
He bought the old Doolittle hotel that formerly stood 
a little to the west of the Dr. Potter house, lately 
Rice Hall's, and placed it upon the corner of Main 
street and the street running east and west past the 
Congregational meeting-house, and in front of the same, 
and occupied it as a hotel. At that time there were 
three hotels in the village, viz. : Jared Lewis's house, 
Chauncey Cook's, now Dwight Hall's, and Eben Smith's 
house. He was the father of Mrs. Lyman Carmon. 


Son of Samuel, was born in Wallingford. In early life 
he went to Cheshire, where he commenced business 
in a small store, with his friend Samuel Hughs (after- 
wards his partner) as clerk. Here he was married to 
Miss Amaryllis, daughter of Reuben and Mary Atwater, 
by whom he had two children, Augustus Russell and 
Mary, the wife of Gov. Hoppen of Rhode Island. He 
afterward located in New Haven with Mr. Hughs as 
partner, and after, a few years' sucessful business in the 
city he retired with a large fortune, and continued in 
retirement until his decease. He was a descendant of 
the Rev. Samuel Street, the first settled Congregational 
minister in Wallingford. Augustus Russell Street, son 
of Titus, was the founder of the Yale Art Building on 
the grounds of Yale College in New Haven. 



Was born in North Haven and came to Wallingford a 
young man. He became acquainted with Miss Harriet 
Johnson, and in due time married her. He was a house 
joiner and carpenter, and as a builder was deservedly 
popular. Being possessed naturally of a good constitu- 
tion, he was enabled to continue the business of his trade 
until near the close of his life, which occurred in 1869, 
at the advanced age of 83 years. After the death of his 
first wife, he was married twice ; first, to the widow of 
Capt. Joel Rice, and secondly, to the widow Merrit Tuttle. 
He had a large family of children, most of whom are living. 


Was a native of Wallingford, and was graduated at Yale 
College in 1765. He was educated a Congregationalist, 
but having embraced the doctrines of the Church of 
England, prepared for Holy Orders under the care of Dr. 
Johnson of Stratford. In 1768 he went to England to 
receive ordination, with a view to becoming Rector of 
Christ Church, in Chelsea, Norwich, Conn. ; and having 
accomplished this object he returned the next year and 
entered on 'the duties of his office. For three years 
during the Revolution, owing to the popular excitement 
which prevailed against Episcopacy in New England, (it 
being regarded almost synonymous with Toryism), Mr. 
Tyler's church was closed ; and from April 1776^0 April 
1779 not an entry was made in its records. He how- 
ever, during this time held divine service in his own 
house, and was never molested in the performance of it. 
At one time he was afraid to drink the water of his own 
well ; and yet he was regarded as a man of great benevo- 
lence and liberality. As an evidence of the kindly 
feeling which both he and his church maintained toward 


their Congregational neighbors, it may be mentioned 
that wnen the Congregationalists in 1794 lost their 
place of worship by fire, the Episcopalians at once prof- 
fered them the use of theirs on the following condition : 
"The Rev. John Tyler, our present pastor, to perform 
Divine service one half the day on each Sabbath, and 
the Rev. Walter King, pastor of said Presbyterian Con- 
gregation, to perform Divine service on the other half 
of said Sabbath, each alternately performing on the first 
half of the day." The offer was gratefully accepted, and 
this amicable arrangement continued for three months. 
Mr. Tyler died Jan. 20, 1823, aged 81 years. He pub- 
lished a sermon preached at the opening of Trinity 
church in Pomfret, 1771 ; and a sermon preached at Nor- 
wich on the Continental Thanksgiving, 1795. Mrs. 
Sigourney writes thus concerning him : " He was an 
interesting preacher ; his voice sweet and solemn, and his 
eloquence persuasive. The benevolence of his heart was 
manifest in daily acts of courtesy and charity to those 
around him. He studied medicine in order to benefit 
the poor, and to find out remedies for some of those pe- 
culiar diseases to which no common specifics seemed to 
apply. During the latter years of his life he was so 
infirm as to need assistance in his clerical duties." 


Was born at Blankenburg in the duchy of Brunswick, 
Sept. 25, 1822. His father was a major in the ducal 
service, and his grandfather a lieutenant-general in the 
Prussian army. He was educated at the military acade- 
my of the city of Brunswick, and entered the army of 
the duchy as a lieutenant in 1841. In 1847 ne resigned 
and came to the United States for the purpose of offer- 


ing his services to the government in the Mexican war ; 
but failing to obtain a commission in the regular army, 
he returned to Germany after marrying a lady of Mobile. 
In 1854 he again came to America and purchased a farm 
in Wallingford. At the commencement of the civil 
war he raised a regiment, the 2Qth New York Vol- 
unteers, which he commanded at the first battle of Bull 
Run, forming part of the reserve under Col. Miles. On 
Oct. 12, 1 86 1, he was commissioned brigadier-general of 
volunteers, and appointed to the command of the 2d 
brigade of Blenker's division. This division was attached 
in May, 1862, to the Mountain department under Gen. 
Fremont. When Sigel assumed command of the corps 
after the organization of the army of Virginia, General 
Steinwehr was promoted to the command of the 2d 
division, and participated in the campaign on the Rapi- 
dan and Rappahannock in August. 


Was admitted a Freeman in 1638 at Boston. In 1638 
he was at Wethersfield, and with twenty others pur- 
chased the town of Stamford. He also with others 
purchased Hempsted on Long Island, but in consequence 
of difficulties with the Dutch government, removed to 
Fairfield, and died Oct., 1650, leaving a widow Esther 
and children. He was a man of great worth and con- 
sequence in the colony, and was frequently called upon 
by the Governors and members of the Legislature to 
act -with them on important committees. He was the 
ancestor of those of the name in Hartford, and the 
father of Andrew, who was the father of W 7 illiam, who 
married Lettice, daughter of John Beach of Wallingford, 
and had Zenas, who settled in Woodbury, and Macock, 
who was a lawyer in Wallingford. 



Was a merchant in Wallingford, and for many years 
was Town Clerk, in which office he gained the esteem 
and confidence of all who had business with him. 
He was a highly respected and honored gentleman, and 
a man of strict integrity and usefulness. At his death 
he was greatly lamented by all. He was born July I, 
1753, and died Sept. 16, 1822, aged 67 years. 


Was the third son of Elisha and Sarah (Jones) Whittel- 
sey, and was born in Wallingford, March 8, 1787. In 
1808, being then in his twenty-first year, he commenced 
business in Catskill, N. Y., where he remained four years. 
In 1812 he removed to New York city, where he carried 
on the wholesale flour business, retaining his flour-mills 
and his store in Catskill, Cairo, and Schoharie, until the 
year 1832, when he removed his family to Wallingford 
and erected the present buildings on the ground where 
he was born ; and during the remainder of his life he de- 
voted his time to improving and beautifying the streets 
of his native town, by setting out shade trees, opening 
walks and highly improving his own grounds. He was 
a man of sterling worth, very methodical in habit, of 
thorough business qualities and a finely balanced mind. 
During his residence in Wallingford, he gave largely to 
the Episcopal church, and gaye more to erect the present 
Congregational church than any of its members. In his 
religious belief he was a Unitarian. His donations were 
made during his lifetime, and yearly he gave to the fol- 
lowing societies, viz. : Children's Aid Society, Five Points 
House of Industry, Association to improve the condition 
of the Poor, and other societies. During the war he 
gave largely to the sanitary commission. He never 


spoke of his donations, and they were not known until 
after his death. Mr. Whittelsey was frequently offered 
positions of trust in private and public, but he refused 
them, for he wished to be quiet after a busy life. Mr. 
Whittelsey was the father of ten children, only two re- 
maining at the time of his death ; six died between the 
ages of nineteen and twenty-seven. He married Oct. 
22, 1814, Lydia G. Archer of New York city, who lived 
with him fifty-five years, and died only a month before 
him. Mr. Whittelsey died January 25, 1869, in the 
eighty-second year of his age. 


Son of Thomas the emigrant, was one of the original 
settlers or planters of Wallingford, and was one of the 
most active and efficient among them. As selectman or 
townsman, he was ever ready to work for the interest 
of the village. He was frequently elected to represent 
the people in the General Court, and was greatly dis- 
tinguished for his devotion to the interests of his constit- 
uents, whom he ably represented for a number of 
successive years. He married Rebecca Gibbons, 
daughter of William, of New Haven. She died Dec. 
n, 1667. After her decease, he married Sarah, daugh- 
ter of John Nash, of New Haven. She died May 24, 
1716 ; and he then married Mary Beach, of Wallingford, 
July 31, 1716. He had by. the two last no children. He 
was chosen one of the number to assist in the formation 
or gathering of a church in the place, after the Congre- 
gational order ; and was a signer to the call of the first 
and second ministers, viz. : Rev. Samuel Street and 
Rev. Samuel Whittelsey. In 1710 he was, with the 
exception of Mr. Street, the only surviving signer of the 
Plantation covenant of Wallingford. He was a Justice 


of the peace, and a Captain of the train-band, &c. He 
died at the age of 89 years, July 26, 1 736. 


Was born in Wallingford, parish of Meriden, April 20, 
1709. He married Huldah Robinson of Meriden, and 
commenced the manufacture of japanned and tin ware, 
for this and the southern market ; and for several years 
kept a depot for the sale of his goods at Richmond, 
Virginia, in connection with his brother Selden. In, 
this enterprise they were very successful, and in a few 
years they each had accumulated a very handsome 
property. The failing health of Selden compelled him 
to retire from the firm. Upon this, Mr. Yale formed a 
business connection with his son-in-law, under the name 
of Yale and Dunby, and soon after purchased in his 
own name the old Mills at the first falls on the Quinni- 
piac River, which had borne the name of Tyler's Mills 
for more than one hundred years. He repaired and 
remodeled the whole concern, and changed the name 
to Yalesville. Here he entered largely into the manu- 
facture of britannia wares and tea-pots, which found a 
ready sale in New York and elsewhere. In this business 
he continued until the close of his life. He died Nov. 
2, 1835, a ged 47 years. 


Of New Haven, son of the late Ira and Harriet ( Cook ) 
Yale of Wallingford, was born July 25, 1807, in the 
house built by his grandfather Elisha Yale in Yalesville 
district, and resided at home with his parents until Jan. 
6, 1824, when he left his home to learn a trade in the 
city of New Haven. After the term of his apprentice- 
ship was concluded, he returned to his native town, where 
he was soon after made a freeman and elected a consta- 


ble. The year following he went to Cheshire, where he 
married Julia Ann, daughter of the late Capt. Thaddeus 
Rich, formerly of Bristol, Conn., May 25, 1830. He was 
appointed post master at Cheshire in 1832, and continued 
in the office with the exception of a few months until 
185 i, when he removed to New Haven. He was a Jus- 
tice of the Peace for about 18 years, and a selectman in 
Cheshire five consecutive years, clerk of the school soci- 
ety for about fourteen years, and judge of the Probate 
court in 1850-7, and was in 1853 elected a member of 
the common council of New Haven, and was re-elected 
for five consecutive years. In 1859 ne was elected chief 
of the Police of the city of New Haven, and was re- 
elected to the same office in 1864. After serving nearly 
two years he resigned the office, believing that he had 
contributed his share to the public service. 

In 1750 he prepared and published a genealogy of the 
Yale family, from the first of the name who appeared in 
this country down to 1850. He has in manuscript a 
genealogy of the Cook family, which he has carefully 
prepared and hopes soon to publish. Besides he has 
collected a large amount of genealogical matter for this 
work, and many of the Biographical notices which 
appear in this work, have been prepared by him. He was 
elected a member of the New England Historical and 
Genealogical Society, on the 7th of May, 1856, and is a 
member of the New Haven Colony Historical Society. 




Was born in Woodbridge, Conn., Dec. 8th, 1791. When 
about sixteen years of age, he came to Meriden and 
spent his first night in this town at the old white house 
on the Hanover road, which stands first northwest of 
the old residence of the late J. C. Breckenridge. The 
greater part of his life since then has been spent here, 
a few years excepted which he spent in business in 
Baltimore. But it is not only as a citizen of Meriden, 
that Deacon Booth was known ; he was widely known 
throughout the state. At one time he was appointed to 
fill the office of General of our State Militia, both as a 
Brigadier and a Major General. In 1850 he was sent 
to Washington to represent the State of Connecticut in 
the House of Representatives, which position he held 
for two years ; besides having previously held sundry 
minor offices in both town and state. At twenty-two 
years of age he was elected deacon in the Center 
Congregational Church in this city, which office he had 
held at the time of his death 56 years. He had also 
been a director in the Meriden National Bank for 
twenty years, and at one time its President. 

But above all he was eminently a good man, a man of 
strict integrity and a Christian man. Up to his last 
illness he was active in all his church duties, and seldom 
was he absent from his place in the sanctuary and the 
Sabbath school where he was a teacher, and of which 
he was the first superintendent, and also in the social 
prayer-meetings. Many will recall the fervor of his 
prayers and the unction of his exhortations in the social 


meeting ; and the testimony of all who knew him, is 
uniform as to the steadfastness of his Christian principle, 
and the purity of his Christian character. 

He was a man of great simplicity and plainness of 
manners, and was averse to all pageantry and parade, 
and strictly economical in his expenditures. He showed 
himself ever ready to aid any enterprise, either in business, 
or civil and religious affairs, which promised to promote 
the secular or religious interests of his native town. 

His illness, which lasted little less than two weeks, 
was a malignant form of erysipelas ; first indicating 
itself in his face, and from there creeping to his brain, 
rendering him delirious for a greater part of the time. 
His friends, however, and physician, Dr. Catlin, did not 
deem him dangerous until Wednesday of the week in 
which he died. Dr. Townsend of New Haven was 
called in as counsel on Tuesday, and did not then think 
his chances for recovery were doubtful. But notwith- 
standing the tender nursing of his wife and friends who 
were continually by his bedside, and in spite of the skill 
and faithfulness of his physician, the destroying disease 
made headway, and on Saturday morning, April 30, 
1870, lapsing into unconsciousness, he gently and with- 
out a struggle or a groan breathed his life away. 


Son of John and Bathsheba (Dodge) Bush, was born in 
East Lyme, Conn., in the year 1 79 1 . His father died when 
Fenner was quite young, and as the family were in very 
poor circumstances, he was put out to live when but six 
years of age. He was employed in assisting on the 
farm and at house-work. When eleven years old he was 
put in the family of a ship-builder, and was to be taught 
the trade when old enough ; but soon after, his master 


ran off with his wife's sister, and the boy was returned 
to his former master. In his twelfth year he went to 
live with a joiner, with a view to learn the trade. 
When eighteen years old, his master furnished him with 
a new suit of clothes, and for the first time he attended 
church. The last four years of his apprenticeship (he 
served nine years'), his master treated him with less rigor, 
but his situation was far from being respectable. 


When he was twenty-one, he had no home or proper- 
ty, except a right in a small piece of land that his father 
left, worth perhaps two hundred dollars. He worked 
for his master three months, at fourteen dollars per 
month, and at the close of this term, he took his forty- 
two dollars and started off on foot to a neighboring 
town, to make purchases of some tools. On his way he 
lost his money, all he had in the world ; but by good 
luck found it again, purchased his tools, and returned 
and set up business in opposition to his former master, 
who politely told him that he was "a fool, for he 
would not earn enough to pay his board." But he was 
M M 


ambitious, and moreover a good workman, and soon had 
so much to do, that his former master offered to sell out 
to him. Fenner accepted the offer, and hired help to 
meet his engagements. 

He now found the necessity of something which had 
been entirely neglected ; for he could neither read nor 
keep accounts. He therefore gave up business, hired a 
room, and for two winters devoted himself to study, 
three months of which were given to learning to read. 
He again commenced business, and pursued his trade 
with considerable success. In 1816 he married Eunice 
Kirtland of Saybrook, and commenced keeping house, 
taking two apprentices to board. About this time he 
was taken sick with typhus fever, and for a long time 
was very sick ; and for nearly two years was unable to 
work. During his sickness he spent all he had earned 
from the beginning, and got into debt several hundred 
dollars. But by diligent attention to business he paid 
up his debts and bought the house that he lived in. 

In April, 1824, he removed from Saybrook to Meriden 
and became interested in the comb business in connec- 
tion with Mr. Julius Pratt. He worked here with 
untiring industry twelve hours a day, at $i 25 per day ; 
after a few years the time was reduced to eleven hours, 
and the wages increased to $i 75 a day. For twenty 
years he labored here, when the shop was destroyed by 
fire, and he lost the earnings of twenty years. It was 
through his management that the shop was re-built and 
the machinery introduced early in the July following 
the fire. Mr. Bush has been interested in the comb 
business up to this time ; is now one of the largest 
stockholders, and until within a few years, was one of the 
directors. By steady and persevering industry and 


economy he has accumulated considerable property. 

Mr. Bush is a whole-souled, liberal man, loved and 
respected by every one who has met him. He has 
contributed largely to benevolent objects, assisted lib- 
erally to build three churches and five school-houses, 
and paid liberally for the support of the Anti-Slavery 
cause and of Christianity. 

Mr. Bush served in the war of 1812, and in 1848 was 
elected senator from the 6th district to the Connecticut 

His two daughters, Temperance Janet and Eunice 
Kirtland, married respectively Randolph Lindsley and 
P. J. Clark. 


Son of John and Sarah (Foster) Butler, was born in 
Middletown, Nov. 16, 1743. He was the sixth genera- 
tion from Richard Butler, one of the original proprietors 
in Hartford in 1639, an< ^ wno was admitted freeman in 
Cambridge, Mass., in 1634. Comfort Butler was appren- 
ticed to the shoemaking business in Middletown at an 
early age, and being much troubled by a fellow apprentice 
of a quarrelsome disposition, he told his master that if 
he must fight, he preferred to fight the enemies of his 
country rather than one of his mates ; and that if he 
would allow him to enlist in the army he would serve 
out the balance of his time after his return. His master 
consented, and young Butler enlisted, although only 
about sixteen. To his great surprise he found his fellow 
apprentice was a member of the same company. But it 
seems that their fighting propensities found ample scope 
without troubling each other, and they became fast 
friends and remained such until the close of the war, 
when Comfort returned home, fulfilled his agreement 



with his master, finished his trade, married Mary, 
daughter of Divan Berry, in 1765, and removed to Wall- 
ingford in the Meriden parish. He had nine children, 
viz. : Samuel, John, Hannah, Lemuel, Esther, Asa, Divan, 
Mary and Phebe. He died February 19, 1826. 


Son of Comfort and Mary (Berry) Butler, was born in 
Meriden, Sept. 5, 1770. He was early in life apprenticed 
to a shoemaker, and subsequently engaged in the tanning 
and shoe-making business on his own account, and was 
the principal shoemaker and tanner in Meriden for 
nearly sixty years. He was considered by all who knew 
him an honest, upright man in all his intercourse with 


the world. He was " Uncle John" to everybody. He 
was remarkable from a boy for his industrious and frugal 
habits. After he had arrived at an age when he was 
subject to military duty, his residence was in the center 
of the town ; and on training days he would manage to 
have his work where he could see the military move- 


ments, and when the time of roll-call arrived, he would 
leave his work and go and answer to his name, drill a 
while with the company, and return to his work again, 
thereby making the most of his time. He was very 
regular in his habits, rising before the sun and re- 
tiring before nine in the evening. He was very exact 
in his accounts, and when he gave his apprentices money 
he always wanted to know what use it was put to, and 
usually made a note of it. For instance, I find in his 
account-book among others, the following entry : " Gave 
Stephen Seymour twenty-five cents to see a striped 
jackass." He raised a numerous family of children, 
most of whom are residents of Meriden at this date, 
and are universally esteemed by the community. Mr. 
Butler married ist, August 17, 1796, Ruth Parker, who 
died Sept. 30, 1799; m. 2d, March 15, 1800, Philomela 
Cowles, who died March 25, 1807; m. 3d, April 17, 
1 8 10, widow Susannah Hall. His children were Albert, 
Ruth A. ( m. Morris Stevens), Henry C., Philomela, 
Lyman, John, Levi, Susan ( m. Sydney P. Hall), and 
Isaac. John Butler died Oct. 6, 1852, ae. 82 years and 
21 days, in the full hope of a blissful immortality. 


Son of Comfort and Mary ( Berry ) Butler, was born in 
Meriden, Feb. 3, 1775. He was a farmer, a plain, unas- 
suming man, perfectly reliable at all times. He was a 
soldier in the war of 1812, and raised a numerous family, 
most of whom now reside here, and are very estimable 
citizens, some of whom are occupying responsible po- 
sitions both in religious and secular affairs. Dec. 4, 
1810, he married Salina, daughter of Jesse Merriman, 
who was born March 20, 1786, and died Sept. 25, 1842. 
Their children were: Joel 1., Eli, Hiram, Harriet, (m. 


Andrew A. Bradley), and George. Lemuel Butler 
died Dec. 11, 1852. 



Son of John and Philomela (Cowles) Butler, was born 
in Meriden, March 6, 1807. By honest and persevering 
industry, Mr. Butler has accumulated a large property, 


and for his moral worth he is highly respected by his 
fellow citizens. Though often solicited to accept offices 



of trust in the town, he has always refused, with the 
exception of acting as moderator at every annual town 
meeting since the town hall was built. He married ist, 
July i, 1832, Sophronia Hotchkiss, who died April 17, 
1841. He married 2d, Nov. 25, 1841, Elizabeth Foster, 
who died June, 1847. He married 3d, May 31, 1848, 
Mrs. Mary L. Woodruff, widow of Dr. Isaac Woodruff. 
His children by his ist wife were: Lucy C. (m. Wm. 
L. Squires), Mary P. and John H. : by 2nd wife : Henry 
W. and Aaron C. 


Son of Lemuel and Selina (Merriman) Butler, was born 
in Meriden, Nov. 12, 1811. He has occupied numerous 
positions of trust and responsibility in matters pertain- 


ing to the government and the town. He is President 
of the Meriden Bank, and U. S. Internal Revenue 
Assessor, and a man in whom the people have the most 
implicit confidence in every respect. Mr. Butler married 
ist, Aug. 27, 1835, Mary A. Morton, who died Aug. 21, 
1837. He married 2nd, July 27, 1840, Sarah A. Hotch- 


kiss, who died Sept. 11, 1853. He married 3d, Jan. 17, 
1855, Ursula M. Hart. By his 2nd wife he had two chil- 
dren, Mary Ann and Emma S. 


The eldest son of Benjamin and Rhoda Catlin, was born 
in Harwinton, Litchfield county, Conn., Aug. 10, 1801. 
His advantages for education were limited to the district 
school near his father's residence, till his sixteenth year, 
when an academy was built in his native town, in which 
he had the opportunity of pursuing the higher branches 
of study not then taught in our common schools. At 
this academy and under the tuition of the Rev. Luther 
Hart of Plymouth, he pursued his preparatory studies. 
He studied medicine and surgery nearly four years 
under the instruction of different physicians and at the 
Medical Institution of Yale College, where he received 
his diploma, March 4, 1825. July I3th of the same 
year, he opened an office in Haddam, Middlesex County, 
there being a vacancy occasioned by the death of Dr. 
Andrew Warner. The first week he had patients to 
attend, and in two or three months was in full practice. 
He remained here more than sixteen years, his practice 
extending into all the adjoining towns. The last day of 
March, 1842, Dr. Wyllis Woodruff of Meriden died. 
The same evening a messenger was sent to Dr. Catlin 
by some of the leading citizens of Meriden, requesting 
him to come to Meriden to fill the vacancy. He came 
up the next day, April i, made arrangements for his 
removal, and commenced practice in Meriden April 5. 
He was elected a Fellow of the Connecticut Medical 
Society, and in 1840 received the honorary degree of 
M. D. from Yale College. In 1854 he was elected Vice- 
President of the Connecticut Medical Society, re-elected 


in 1855, appointed President in 1856, and re-elected in 
1857. He has been a permanent member of the Ameri- 
can Medical Association since May, 1853, and has since 
that time attended most of the annual meetings as 
delegate from the New Haven County Medical Society, 
or from the State society. In 1 860 he was elected an 
Honorary Member of the New York State Medical 
Society, and in 1869 a Corresponding Member of the 
Gynaecological Society of Boston. When the first Con- 
gregational society removed to West Meriden, Dr. 
Catlin was elected deacon, which office he has held until 
the present time. 


Was the son of Eliphaz and Hannah (Sawyer) Davis, 
and was born in Marlboro, Mass., March 13, 1810. After 
receiving his early education at the common schools 
of his native town, he was apprenticed to a trade in 
Springfield, Mass. In 1837, having then a wife and two 
children, he entered the office of Dr. Riley of Croshen, 
Conn., to pursue the study of medicine, still working at 
his trade during his spare hours, for the support of his 
family. After leaving the office of Dr. Riley he prac- 
ticed his profession for a time in Goshen, and then 
concluded to remove to Litchfield as offering a wider 
field for his business. In Litchfield he remained several 
years, engaged in a constantly increasing and lucrative 
practice ; but hearing that there was a better opening in 
Plymouth, and being urged by a number of influential 
persons in that town, he removed his family there and 
commenced practice about the year 1846. Here he 
opened a drug store, built a house, and obtained an ex- 
tensive practice in the town and beyond it, being 
frequently called to the neighboring towns of Wolcott, 


Bristol, Bethlem, and Watertovvn. These long rides 
in a hilly country soon wore upon his health, and he 
began looking for some easier field of practice. At this 
time his old friend and fellow student, Dr. William H. 
Allen of Meriden, died, and his widow wrote to Dr. Davis 
a letter urging him to remove to Meriden and take her 
late husband's practice. This was just the field that he 
was looking for, and accordingly in 1850 he removed to 
Meriden, and the year following removed his family. 


For nearly eighteen years Dr. Davis practiced his pro- 
fession in Meriden with success. He was a skillful and 
prudent operator, a careful and discriminating prescriber, 
ever improving the lessons of experience. In 1843 he 
received a diploma from the Botanic Medical Society of 
Connecticut, and in 1850 an honorary diploma, he being 
at that time Vice President of the Society. He after- 
wards held the office of President. He was one of the 
founders of the State Eclectic Medical Society, and held 
the offices at different times, of Secretary, Treasurer^ 


Vice President and President, and was for several years 
one of the Board of Censors. 

Dr. Davis was most genial, kind and companionable 
in his social relations. Fond of society, with a genial 
humor which led him to enjoy the present and not be 
too careful of the future, quick in his perceptions, liber- 
al in pecuniary matters, and despising money-hoarding, 
he lived in as much enjoyment as falls to the lot of most 
men, and was personally esteemed as a friend and 
physician throughout the community. He was not a 
man of fluent speech, and of consequence not what we 
call a great talker. But he was a capital listener, and 
would attend with great eagerness and delight to hear 
men of sense talk. He was fond of horticulture, and 
evinced much taste and skill in the cultivation of his 
land. He had the true idea of success in this business, 
viz. : that "a little land should be well tilled." 

In 1866 a small pimple on his lower lip began troub- 
ling him, and soon proved to be a cancer. At that time 
he was very busy, and thinking that he could not neglect 
his patients, he was careless of himself and suffered the 
disease to make great progress before he could be pre- 
vailed upon to do anything for it. He had at different 
times two operations, one by Dr. Ellsworth of Hartford, 
and the other by Dr. Gurdon Buck of New York ; but 
the operations were undertaken too late. He lingered 
until the 24th of February, 1870, when he passed away 
in his sixtieth year. At the funeral services, the atten- 
dance of the most prominent citizens in the city testified 
to the high esteem in which he was held. The funeral 
services were performed by Rev. M. I. Steere. The 
rector of the Episcopal Church and the pastor of the 
Methodist Church were also present. His pastor said 


of him, " During his long and distressing sickness I do 
not think so much as a shadow of distrust or fear passed 
over his soul. He steadfastly contemplated death as 
though it were life. He saw light in its darkness, and 
the Father's love shining within its shadows. He felt 
that his life was with Christ in God, and that death 
could not disturb it. His language ever was, ' I am 
ready ; I am sinking into the arms of Jesus.' And the 
pressure of his hand as I rose from his bedside, often 
told me how, deeper than I, he felt the sentiments of 
hope and goodness." Dr. Davis was a member of the 
order of Free and Accepted Masons, and was buried 
with Masonic honors. He married Miss Mary Parsons, 
November i, 1832. She died April, 1834, in Pleasant 
Valley, Conn., leaving one child, Mary Markham 
Morehouse, who married Edwin Miner in 1853, and 
is now living in New Haven, a widow. Dr. Davis mar- 
ried for his second wife, Miss Moriva Hatch of Spring- 
field, Mass., in 1836, and had : Julia, born April, 1838; 
died December, 1839; Charles Henry Stanley, 1 born 
March 2, 1840; Julia Moriva, born July, 1844; Wilbur 
Fisk, born Sept., 1846, died July 15, 1847 ; Wilbur Fisk, 
born July, 1848; a graduate of the Cambridge Law 
School in 1870. 

i Charles Henry Stanley Davis was born March 2, 1840. He was pre- 
pared for college in the public schools of Meriden, and pursued the studies 
of the Freshman and Sophomore classes under Rev. Messrs. Wilder and 
Foster. His plans for entering college were broken up by the war, and in 
1862 after a short residence in Springfield, Mass., he removed to New 
York and entered the medical department of the New York University, 
where he was graduated in the spring of 1865, attending the last course of 
lectures ever delivered by Dr. Valentine Mott. After attending a course 
of lectures at the Bellevue Hospital Medical school and following hospital 
practice, he removed to Boston, attending the summer course at the Har- 
vard University Medical school. During his residence in Boston he edited 



Was a graduate of Harford University, Pennsylvania, 
and of the New Haven theological seminary. His first 
and only pastorate was over the Hanover Congregational 
Church, where he was ordained May 28, 1857. This 
church, then in its infancy, enjoyed a revival of religion 
at the beginning of his ministry, which continued after 
his ordination, and was the means of increasing the 
membership and the strength of the church by an 
addition of about twenty-five new members. This re- 
lation was sustained harmoniously till the outbreak of 
the rebellion. The following pastoral note, under date 
of September 30, 1861, copied from the records of the 
church in Hanover, speaks for itself: 

"The Congregational church in Hanover has been subjec- 
ted to many changes since my settlement as pastor. God 
has blessed it by adding to its numbers from year 
to year. These additions have averaged ten each year dur- 
ing my ministry here. But our church and society have been 
greatly weakened by numerous removals. The darkest hour 
has arrived. The terrible rebellion in our Southern states 

the first volume of the Boston Medical Register. In the fall of 1866, he 
removed to Baltimore, where he remained through the winter attending 
the lectures in the medical department of the University of Maryland and 
following hospital practice. In 1867 he returned to Meriden, succeeding 
his father in the practice of his profession. In 1863 Rev. Dr. Brown, 
Rev. Messrs. Duer, Jones, Post, Owen and others organized the American 
Philological Society, and Dr. Davis was elected the first corresponding 
Secretary and afterwards one of the Vice Presidents. In September, 1868, 
he was elected member of the N. E. Historical and Genealogical society 
of Boston, and during 1868 and the following year was elected correspond- 
ing member of the Wisconsin, Minnesota and Chicago Historical societies. 
In 1870 he was made a member of the New Haven Colony Historical so- 
ciety. He is also a member of several medical and scientific societies, and 
has contributed largely to the medical and periodical press. He married 
September 23, 1869, Carrie E. daughter of George W. Harris, Esq. 


has seriously affected our manufacturing and . pecuniary 
interests. We feel it most deeply. My mind and heart have 
been deeply interested in our national conflict. After mature 
reflection, I have asked of my people a leave of absence for 
one year, that I may enlist in the Grand Army of Freedom. 
May God be with those I shall leave behind. May He save 
me through His grace, and may He save our beloved country 
and our government, from anarchy and dissolution. 

"Signed, JACOB EATON." 

In accordance with the purpose here expressed, he 
enlisted in the 8th Connecticut Regiment, sharing its 
fortunes under Burnside on the Atlantic coast as a pri- 
vate. He was promoted at length to a Lieutenancy, and 
served as an officer till wounded on the bloody field of 
Antietam, a musket ball entering his hip and disabling 
him for many months. Incapacitated thus for service in 
the ranks, he received an honorable discharge and re- 
turned to his people again to break unto them the bread 
of life and fight the good fight. His heart more than ever 
was with the country in its trial, and with the brave men 
who were fighting our battles. After preaching about a 
year, again he enlisted in the 7th Connecticut Regiment, 
and was promoted to a chaplaincy. Here he did valiant 
service for Christ and his country. He died at Wilming- 
ton, N. C, March 20, 1865, of typhoid fever, induced by 
fatigue and over exertion in ministering to the wants of 
the recently rescued federal prisoners in the hospital at 
that place. Mr. Eaton was a man of strong affection and 
love of home, of most deep and tender sympathies, and 
of ardent devotion to the cause of Christ and the country. 
He was a warm friend, when once friendship was estab- 
lished, and self-sacrificing for others weal. His charac- 
ter was impulsive. He was strong in his detestation of 


whatever he thought wrong, and bold in his defense of 
what he deemed right. 1 Humble as was the life and death 
of this man, it may be doubted whether any of all the 
martyrs of the Great Rebellion offered a truer sacrifice to 
their country than his. Twice he left his peaceful pro- 
fession for the camp and the battlefield ; but he finally 
died, not in the work of death, but as a minister of mercy. 


Son of Orchard and Lois (Hall) Guy, was born in Meri- 
den June 4, 1804. He attended the district school 
winters, until he was sixteen years old. At the age of 
twenty he commenced teaching, and taught for ten win- 
ters at an average salary of eight dollars per month and 
board. He then acted as salesman for Meriden manufac- 
tures for four or five years. After this Mr. Guy, in 
connection with his brother, bought a store in Middle- 
town where he carried on business until 1840, though 
residing in Meriden most of the time. In 1840 he built 
the store now standing east of his present residence, and 
under the title of J. H. Guy & Co., he carried on the 
grocery business, the Company being the firm of Julius 
Pratt & Co. In 1846 Mr. Guy bought out his partner 
and carried on the business until about 1850. Mr. Guy 
has been a very energetic business man, honest and 
straightforward in all of his dealings. Since 1844 he 
has held the office of postmaster at different times for 
twelve years. He was President of the Meriden Bank 
thirteen years, and has been President of the ist Nation- 
al Bank seven years. He has also held the office of con- 
stable, deputy-sheriff, assessor and collector, justice of 
the peace and alderman. He has also acted more than 

i Funeral Discourse by Rev. H. C. Hayden. 


any other man in Meriden as administrator and trustee of 
estates. Mr. Guy married Nov. 9, 1830, Semira Wetmore 
of Middlefield, and has one daughter born in 1833. He 
has been extensively engaged in the insurance busi- 
ness about twenty years. 


The oldest house in Meriden is now standing about 
three miles east of the center. It was built by Daniel 
Hall in the earlier part of the last century. He was the 
grandson of John Hall, the first emigrant, and was born 
January 27, 1689. His son John was born Jan. 29, 1724, 
and died May 13, 1795, leaving twelve children. Joseph, 
the fifth son, born Oct. 8, 1770, succeeded to the old 
homestead. He died March 13, 1831, leaving six chil- 
dren, of whom two, Sherman, born April 26, 1806, and 


Julius, the subject of this sketch, born June 7, 1813, still 
survive. They are the fourth generation born in this old 
house. Julius Hall married Laura L. Parker, May I, 
1852, and has six children. Some years ago he built the 
house in which he now lives, just north of the old house. 


The immense timbers and old stone chimney, in the fire- 
place of which a load of wood might easily be placed, 
bid fair to stand for several generations to come. Mr. Hall 
is a plain, unassuming man, whose whole attention is 
given to his farm. Respected by his friends and neigh- 
bors for his moral worth, he never sought after office, or 
mingled in town affairs, but lives as did his ancestors for 
four generations in this town, a tiller of the soil, happy 
and content in the bosom of his family. 


Was born in Blandford, Hampden Co., Mass., Aug. 31, 
1818. His parents were Timothy Linus and Sarah 
Walker (Shepard) Hatch. He was graduated at the 
Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Mass., in the class 
of 1842. He was married Oct. 15, 1846, to Miss Nancy 
C. Boies, daughter of David Boies Esq., of Blandford. 
He was then in the practice of his profession in New 
Jersey. He removed from New Jersey to Meriden in 
December, 1849.' In 1853 he built and occupied the 
house on the corner of Main and Butler streets, now 
occupied by Henry C. Butler, Esq. He was appointed 
trustee of the State Reform School by the Legislature 
of 1838, and in July, 1859 was appointed by the trustees 
superintendent. He still occupies that position. He 
made a public profession of his faith in Christ in 1853, 
and in 1853 he connected himself with the First 
Congregational church of Meriden, at West Meriden, 
and still retains his connection there. His success as 

I His children are Edward Walker Hatch Jr., born at Little Falls, N. J., 
Jan. 12, 1848, died July 28, 1849; Sarah Elizabeth, born at Blandford, 
Mass., Nov. 2, 1849 ; Caroline Bigelow, born Sept. 30, 1852 ; Mary Boies, 
born March 6, 1859 ; Frances Catharine, born Sept. 6, 1863, died April 
9, 1864. 

N N 


superintendent of the Reform School is well known 
not only to the people of this town, but to the people of 
the State and to all in the country at large who are 
interested in the success of such institutions. Dr. 
Hatch was a warm and earnest advocate of the Union 
all through the war of the rebellion. He has always 
been interested in the cause of education, and is well 
known as an able, zealous advocate of total abstinence. 


He is active as one of the executive committee of the 
Connecticut Temperance Union, is earnestly interested 
in sabbath schools, and is one of the Board of Directors 
of the Connecticut Industrial school for girls, just 
established at Middletown. 


Was born in Wallingford, in the parish of Meriden, in 
1781. His father, Dr. Ensign Hough, commenced 
practice in this town in 1769, and died in 1813. The 
parents of Dr. Isaac Hough were small in stature and 
weight. His mother especially was a feeble, delicate 
woman. Their son Isaac was large from his birth, and 


in childhood was so heavy that his mother could not 
lift him ; and when no one was near to raise him into her 
lap, she would stretch out her limbs and roll him up. 
When ten weeks old he weighed twenty pounds, and 
previous to his death had attained the weight of about 
three hundred and fifty pounds. He studied medicine 
under his father, and under the instruction of Dr. Hall 
of Middletown. His father requested him not to marry 


early, as several members of the family would be de- 
pendent upon him. The result was, he did not marry 
at all. 

At the time he commenced practice, Meriden 
contained about twelve hundred inhabitants ; but his 
practice extended to all adjoining towns, and was for 
several years quite extensive. He was a very efficient 
practitioner and believed fully in the power of medicine 
and administered it freely. He had a good library of 
medical and miscellaneous works, and in his earlier 
years his reading was extensive. He took and read for 
many years the North American Review and most of 


the medical journals published while he was in practice. 
For a person so large and fleshy he was remarkably 
active in body and mind. He always kept some of the 
best horses in the country and drove them rapidly. He 
was an early riser, up and off to see his patients earlier 
than they were ready to receive him. He spent but 
little time investigating cases, but would see at once 
the prominent points of acute cases, and prescribe with 
skill and good jugdment. His prognosis of a cure was 
generally very correct. He had no taste for the manage- 
ment of chronic cases, and no patience to listen to the 
multitudinous complaints of chronic patients. He much 
preferred to laugh at what appeared to him their absurd 
notions, and consequently would often lose their confi- 
dence. He had great faith in the medical properties of 
opium, and prescribed it freely in fevers and in acute 
and chronic cases. His presciptions unfortunately led 
some of his friends and p